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Brazilian mining giant Vale quadrupled profits in 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Brazilian mining giant Vale on Thursday reported a net profit of USD22.4 billion in 2021, nearly four times higher than the previous year, which it said was driven by a sharp rise in the price of iron ore, among other factors.

In addition to the 360 per cent increase in net profit over 2020, the company indicated a net profit of USD5.4 billion in the fourth quarter. In the same quarter of 2020, Vale posted a net profit of only USD739 million, as it struggled to recover from the 2019 collapse of a mine-waste dam in Brumadinho, in southeastern Brazil, which killed 270 people.

Vale’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled USD31.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 79 per cent over the previous year.

“In a year still marked by the persistent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and market volatility, we were able to deliver significant achievements in creating sustainable value to all our stakeholders,” CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said.

The company attributed the positive numbers to higher iron ore prices following an increase in global demand.

Last year the average price of iron ore sold by Vale was 46.5 per cent higher than in 2020, although in the fourth quarter prices fell due to cuts in steel production in China, which impacted demand.