Brazilian mining giant Vale reported an 84% decline in profits in the second quarter of 2013, due to foreign exchange losses as well as a steep drop in the prices of minerals and metals.

In the three months ending 30 June, the company’s net earnings for the quarter plunged to $424m, against $2.64bn in the same period of the previous year.

Net operating revenues for second quarter 2013 were $11bn, a slight decline from $12.46bn in the same quarter last year.

Vale, primarily involved with iron ore mining, said that it received an average of $99.21 per tonne of iron ore in the second quarter, down by 11% from the first quarter.

The company attributed the fall in production to the decline in global iron-ore market, especially as slow economic growth in China made steel producers stop acquiring new stock.

"The company attributed the fall in production to the decline in global iron-ore market."

The company’s Itabira complex, Mariana and Minas Centrais mining sites together produced 26.7m tonnes in second quarter of 2013, up by 7.8% from the corresponding quarter in 2012.

During the quarter, the company’s copper, gold and coal output increased to 91,300t, 63,000oz and 2.4m tonnes respectively, while nickel output remained at 65,000t, its best second quarter since 2008.

Iron ore sales were a little above than the expected figures, standing at 61.9m tonnes in the second quarter of 2013, while it was 117.6m tonnes in the first half of 2013.

Sales of pellets grew by 10.8% from the first quarter of 2013.

During the second quarter, Vale secured installation license from the Brazilian environmental protection agency (IBAMA) for its Carajás S11D, an iron ore project.

Image: Vale’s Carajás iron ore mine in Brazil.

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