Brazil’s Vale do Rio Doce announces start of coke exploration in China

21 December 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 21 Dec – Brazilian mining giant Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) announced Wednesday it was to begin coke exploration, through the Shandong Yankuang joint venture, in the Chinese province of Shandong.

The joint venture is a partnership between the Brazilian company, Yankuang, one of China’s largest producers of coke and coal, and Itochu, one of the large Japanese trading sector companies, the company said in a statement.

CVRD has a 25 percent stake in the capital of the joint venture, while the Yankuang Group and Itochu have 70 and 5 percent, respectively.

“The joint venture is the biggest of its kind in China and has an annual production capacity of 2 million tons of high quality coke and 200,000 tons of methanol,” the statement said.

CVRD invested US$26.6 million in the project, which represents its “confidence in the future of China and its steel industry.”

At the beginning of the week, CVRD said it had signed an agreement with Japan’s Nipon Steel to jointly develop coal and iron ore projects.

Last year China was Vale do Rio Doce’s main foreign customer and imported 56.5 million tons of iron ore, which accounted for 22.4 percent of the company’s total sales. (macauhub)