Vale announces that its Board of Directors has approved the investment budget for 2013, involving capital expenditures of US$ 10.1 billion for project execution and US$ 5.1 billion dedicated to sustaining existing operations, as well as US$ 1.1 billion for research and development (R&D) expenditures. Capital and R&D expenditures in 2012 are estimated to reach US$ 17.5 billion, lower than the US$ 18.0 billion for 2011, the peak expected for the foreseeable future.
The prospects of a moderate expansion of the global demand for minerals and metals over the medium-term do require a stricter discipline in capital allocation and a stronger focus on maximizing efficiency and minimizing costs. Our priority has shifted from the marginal volume to the capital efficient volume, a move that has deep implications for the way we manage capital.
"A lean management organization, excellence in execution and the commitment to transparency and shareholder value creation are principles of paramount importance to guide our decision-making process", said Murilo Ferreira, CEO. "We are now more than ever strongly committed to investing only in world-class assets, with long life, low cost, expandability and high quality output, capable of creating value through the cycles. The optimization of capital management is underpinned by relentless efforts to reduce our cost structure on a permanent basis".
"The preservation of our current investment-grade ratings is of course one of our main permanent commitments", Mr. Ferreira concluded.
We were granted around 100 environmental licenses in 2012, which highlights enormous progress in environmental permitting, removing obstacles for the development of our world-class projects, such as Carajás S11D, the largest and the best iron ore project in the world. Simultaneously, we are gradually solving the issues related to tax litigations, an important step change, as it eliminates financial risks and frees resources to focus our attention on managing the business.
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