Vale announces the successful completion of the throughput test for the first phase of the Salobo III project, with the Salobo complex exceeding an average of 32 Mtpa over a 90-day period. This achievement is a significant milestone under the Salobo streaming agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals Corp1.
In 2019, Vale started construction on the US$1.1 billion Salobo III expansion project. Combined with plants I and II, throughput capacity now exceeds 32 Mtpa, and is currently ramping up to reach full capacity of 36 Mtpa in the 4Q24.
‘’The successful ramp-up of the Salobo III project represents significant growth in a top-tier operation in our Energy Transition Metals business. This accomplishment is the result of enhancements to Salobo’s reliability and a steadfast commitment to operational excellence’’, said Eduardo Bartolomeo, Vale’s CEO and Vale Base Metals’ Board Director. ‘’Our strategic position in the Carajás region is an important lever to increase our copper production to 900kt/y over the next decade and deliver high-quality products to the global energy transition.’’
Under the terms of the agreement with Wheaton, Salobo will receive US$370 million for completion of the first phase of the Salobo III expansion project. The remaining balance of the expansion payment will be triggered once Vale expands actual throughput above 35 Mtpa for a period of 90 days. In addition, Wheaton will be required to make annual payments of between US$5.1 million to US$8.5 million for a 10-year period should the Salobo complex continues to produce within certain copper grades.
1 In 2015, Vale announced the by-product streaming agreement with Wheaton, which was amended in 2023, as per Vale’s 20-F.