The Brazilian mining giant recently ousted its long serving chief Roger Agnelli and replaced him with Vale director Murilo Ferreira, who is experienced in the company’s nickel and base metals businesses.
This move followed criticism that Vale was not investing enough in Brazil, particularly in the nation’s steelmaking industry.
While there are no clear indications that there will be any setbacks to Vale’s international portfolio of coal mines and projects, Amaral told the Courier-Mail he was seeking more than $2 billion of Queensland project funding before 2012.
He aims for a decision on the $800 million Ellensfield project by year end according to the report, while he “hopes” to discuss the $1.3 billion development plan for the Eagle Downs longwall project with the board “soon”.
Aquila Resources owns half of Eagle Downs with Vale and unveiled results of a comprehensive project study this morning.
Aquila is favouring first longwall production in October 2016, based on securing capacity from the second stage development of the proposed Wiggins Island export coal terminal.
The project is targeting an average of 4.5Mtpa of hard coking coal over a 48-year mine life under Aquila’s preferred development approach.
Meanwhile, the Ellensfield project is targeting up to 5.5Mtpa run of mine for 4.7Mtpa of export coking and thermal coal over a 20 year mine life.
Access development of the mine is expected to follow on from an initial box cut, while a coal handling and processing plant is expected to be built and operational in 2012.
Vale plans to process the Ellensfield ROM coal using the CHPP at its nearby Carborough Downs mine and awarded Sinclair Knight Merz the contract to study the surface and underground infrastructure required for Ellensfield back in February.
Aquila started legal proceedings against Vale over Eagle Downs last year when Vale unexpectedly pulled out of arrangements to secure 4Mtpa of port and associated rail capacity to export through Abbot Point in 2013.