Rigid environmental and licensing regulations in Brazil could limit Vale’s (VALE) ability to expand production and develop new mines in its homeland. This will definitely hurt Vale’s stock along with its rivals such as BHP Billiton (BHP), Freeport McMoRan (FCX), Rio Tinto (RIO), and Newmont Mining (NEM), though they are not heavily exposed to Brazil.
The new regulations strike right at the heart of Vale’s core business of iron mining, but they could definitely hurt its other operations in Brazil, such as copper and rare earth mining. Bloomberg reported that Vale has had to cut its projections for 2015 in iron ore shipments from Brazil by 10%. The company has also had to delay the $8 billion expansion of the Carajas Serr Sul mine.
The biggest problem for Vale is having is getting permits to expand its mines. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Tito Martins, told reporters that Vale has only been able to get one permit to expand operations in the mineral-rich Carajas region in the last ten years.
Lawsuits Make it Almost Impossible to Expand Mining in Brazil
At least one other major mining company, Anglo American (AAUKY.PK), has had a project hobbled by Brazilian regulators. Anglo was ordered to suspend construction at its Minas Rio iron mine by bureaucrats six times because of allegations it had violated laws designed to protect the region’s artistic and cultural inheritance. Anglo has also had trouble getting permits for basic infrastructure, such as power lines at the mine.To continue reading, click here.