90 employees and contractors in the country
Date when the first shipment of iron ore was sent to Fuji Steel
The Matsusaka refinery is internationally known
Vale has a history of good and long commercial relations with Japan. Since 1955, for example, the Japanese have bought around 1.2 billion metric tons of iron ore from the company – enough to build a bridge linking Brazil and Japan. Find out more at www.vale.com/japan.
In 1953, a small batch of ore from Vale was shipped to Japan via the Port of Santos, in São Paulo state, so that potential buyers could test our product. By sending this load to the land of the rising sun, we began to write another page in our history. Two years later, we began regular sales of iron ore to Japan. The first shipment of nine thousand tons was the beginning of a successful relationship, which turns 60 in 2015.
This partnership has changed the pattern of global navigation, has helped to lead Japan to the being the second economic power and transformed Brazil into a major exporter of raw materials in the world.
Vale has a history of good and long commercial relations with Japan. Since 1955, for example, the Japanese have bought around 1.2 billion metric tons of iron ore from the company – enough to build a bridge linking Brazil and Japan. Besides selling products to the country, we also operate a refinery in Matsusaka, which produces nickel products using ore sourced from our mines in Indonesia. Vale is present in the country with a sales and administration office in the capital city, Tokyo. The company also has a partnership in the city of Matsusaka to operate a refinery producing intermediate and refined nickel.
The Matsusaka refinery has a nominal production capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year. In addition to the domestic market, the refinery’s main customers are in Taiwan, China, and South Korea, locations where Vale also has operations.
One of the Matsusaka refinery’s distinctive features is that it has implemented production methods that consume very little energy. In recent years, various improvements have been made, including automation measures. These steps have increased the refinery’s efficiency and made it possible to operate and administer it with just a few employees. As a result, it now has the lowest production costs among all of the Vale group’s refineries and it is considered a world-class operation.
In August 2014, Vale signed an operational cooperation agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Through this deal, Vale and JBIC will assess funding possibilities to support the company’s iron ore, coal and base metals businesses, and related infrastructure projects, besides expanding the partnership between Vale and Japanese companies.
Another goal is to establish a two-way flow of knowledge and technologies concerning the development and operation of mineral resource facilities, encompassing iron ore, coal and non-ferrous metals. The agreement will last for three years.