4Q20 Production Report


4Q20 Production Report

Vale´s Production Report for the fourth quarter of 2020 (4Q20) was released on Wednesday, February 3rd. The year of 2020 ends with the partial resumption of all iron ore fines operations halted in 2019, which became even more challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to adopt measures to protect employees and support communities.

Vale's iron ore fines production totalled 300.4 Mt in 2020, in line with 2019. In 4Q20, the company produced 84.5 Mt of iron ore fines, 5% lower than in 3Q20 mainly due to higher rainfall levels2 and tailings disposal restrictions in Southeastern System. Considering production restrictions, Vale ended 2020 with 322 Mt of production capacity and expects to achieve 350 Mt capacity by the end of 2021.

In 4Q20, the company resumed Serra Leste and Fábrica sites in Iron Ore Business and resumed Moatize revamp works. The quarter was marked by a strong quarter-on-quarter sales increase in the Iron Ore (25.9%), Copper (15.4%) and Nickel (13.6%) businesses.

Although the pandemic-related impacts and measures reduced productivity in all businesses and postponed, in 2020, the start-up of the new iron ore assets, Vale remains confident to achieve 400 Mtpy capacity by the end of 2022.

Download 4Q20 production report

See highlights of some of our businesses:


  • In 4Q20, production totalled 55.9 kt, 19% higher than 3Q20, explained by stronger production rates after maintenance works rescheduled from 1H20 to 3Q20 across nickel operations.
  • Nickel sales volumes were 66.1 kt in 4Q20, 13.6% higher than 3Q20. This was the record for Nickel sales for a quarter since 4Q17.
  • Production of finished nickel ex-VNC was 183.7 kt in 2020, in line with 2019.
Find out more about our nickel activities


  • Sales volumes of copper were 93 kt in 4Q20, 15.4% higher than 3Q20 mostly as a result of higher production and favourable market conditions.
  • Copper production reached 360.1 kt in 2020, 5.5% lower than 2019.
  • In 4Q20, production totalled 93.5 kt, 7% higher than 3Q20, mostly due to stronger production rates across Brazil and Canada operations.
Find out more about our copper activities

Iron Ore and pellets

  • Sales volumes of iron ore fines and pellets totalled 286.1 Mt in 2020, 5% below iron ore fines production.
  • In 4Q20, Vale’s sales of iron ore fines and pellets reached 91.3 Mt with a premium of US$ 4.3/t.
  • Vale achieved record sales to China in 4Q20, totalling 64 Mt (vs. 58 Mt in 4Q19).
  • Vale’s iron ore fines production totalled 300.4 Mt in 2020, in line with 2019, and the pellet's production totalled 29.7 Mt in 2020.
Find out more about our iron ore and pellet activities


  • Coal production totalled 1.2 Mt in 4Q20 and 5.9 Mt in 2020, reflecting the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Due to the plant’s revamp, production slowed and decreased 12.3% compared to 3Q20, however, inventory levels supported the 4Q20 sales increase.
  • Coal business resumed its maintenance activities in November, which are expected to be completed during 1Q21, followed by the commissioning activities of new and revamped equipment. Mine and plant ramp-up should start by 2Q21 until the end of 2021. Vale expects to achieve a production run-rate of 15 Mtpy in 2H21.
Find out more about our coal activities

4Q20 Financial Report

The 4Q20 financial report will be released on February 25th. After the report´s release, some of our key executives will participate in webcasts with investors to present the quarter’s results. Click here to learn more about webcasts.