Bloomberg News

Vale Says It Halted Output at Agua Limpa Iron Mine

March 17, 2009

Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world’s biggest iron-ore producer, said it halted all output at its Agua Limpa iron-ore mine in Brazil because of low demand.

The mine in Minas Gerais state has 270 employees, some of whom are being sent on leave on half pay while others are transferred to other Vale units, a Vale spokeswoman who can’t be named under company policy, said today in a telephone interview from Rio de Janeiro.

Vale’s Chief Executive Officer Roger Agnelli said Oct. 31 that the company would cut iron-ore production by 30 million metric tons a year, or about 10 percent, to match lower market demand as steelmakers cut orders for the raw material amid a global credit crisis. The stoppage at Agua Limpa is part of the 30 million-ton cut, the spokeswoman said today.

“Vale has put 350 employees on half pay since the end of February under the leave plan agreed with 15 trade unions, including some workers from Agua Limpa,” she said.

The plan was approved by unions that represent 38,000 Vale employees in Brazil, out of the company’s 62,000 employees worldwide, she said. The accord guarantees employment for those workers until May 31, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Diana Kinch in Rio de Janeiro at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at

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