Vale informs that it started production at Onça Puma, a nickel operation (mine and processing plant) in the Brazilian state of Pará with nominal capacity of 53,000 tons per year of nickel contained in ferro-nickel, its final product.
On March 4, 2011, we produced the first metal from the first of two ferro-nickel production lines, and the second line is expected to start in the second half of the year. Onça Puma is built on lateritic nickel deposits of saprolitic ore and total investment is estimated at US$ 2.841 billion, with US$ 146 million to be spent in 2011 during the ramp-up.
Our confidence in the long-term global fundamentals supports our strategy of developing organic growth opportunities through the implementation of world-class projects to generate shareholder value. From 2011 to 2015, 33 major projects will be delivered, enhancing our capacity to finance profitable growth initiatives without leveraging the balance sheet and laying the foundations for building new value creation platforms through the development of low-capex brownfield projects.