Vale ready to invest record $24bn in 2011

BRAZILIAN mining company Vale, the world’s top iron ore producer, will invest a record $24bn (£15.1bn) in 2011 as it diversifies toward pricier metals and profitable fertilisers.

Vale’s highly awaited capex budget nearly doubles this year’s outlays and will lay the groundwork for the company to vastly boost output of key products amid soaring demand for minerals from emerging markets such as China.

“Our budget is consistent with our long-term view of demand and market fundamentals for minerals, metals and fertilisers,” investor relations’ director Roberto Castello Branco said on an earnings conference call.

The announcement of massive investments comes a day after Vale said third-quarter earnings more than doubled to a quarterly record of $6.1bn, beating estimates. Output of iron ore – which is in heavy demand as developing nations rapidly build out infrastructure – was expected to jump almost 75 per cent to 522m tonnes per year by 2015.