Talking about Vale's history is talking about transformation. Today, the
company completes 80 years of operations, always with the purpose of
improving life and transforming the future. Together. Since June 1,
1942, a lot has happened, but one thing remains the same: the
determination to become one of the safest and most reliable mining
companies in the world, always respecting the basic principle of “life
as a priority”.
Learning, changes, challenges and evolutions have always been part of
the path taken so far and, knowing that the role of a mining company
goes far beyond mining, Vale is proud to celebrate its 80th anniversary
with an eye towards the new, connected to the communities in which it is
inserted and attuned to the aspirations of society.
It is this attitude that makes Vale value its past, keeping its focus
on the present while working to improve the future.
Cherish the past
Remembering the history of Vale is traveling through time and the
progress of Brazil.
In the city of Itabira, Minas Gerais, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD),
today Vale, was born with the aim of collaborating with the country's
economic development through industrialization.
Over the years, the impact of the company's growth could be seen in
several other sectors. The projects built throughout its history
permeate areas such as culture, environment, social development and
innovation. Follow below:
Along with the creation of the company, in 1942, came the
possession of the Vitória-Minas Gerais Railroad, which gained
40 km in length. Since then, Brazil has not only gained
possession of a major railroad and port facilities, but also a
substantial share of mineral wealth.
Since the first years of existence, environmental preservation
was already a theme at Vale. In 1951, the Vale Natural
Reserve, located in Linhares/ES, was founded. The area began
to be formed with the purchase of farms in the region, until
reaching the number of 102 properties acquired in the 1970s.
In 1966, the company began to advance in the world export
scenario with the inauguration of the Port of Tubarão, in
Espírito Santo, motivating a leap in world navigation. The
following year, two important milestones took place: the
company became one of the 6 largest exporters in the world,
selling 26 types of ore, and the Carajás deposits, in the
south of Pará, were discovered.
During this period, the company developed a policy of
diversification of activities that led it to engage in
projects for the production of bauxite/alumina/aluminium,
manganese, titanium, phosphate/fertilizers, wood/cellulose,
pellets and magnetic ferrites. In addition, in 1973, the first
sale of iron ore to China took place, which led Brazil to
become the first country in the world to export iron ore to
The 1980s brought about advancements in several areas. There
was the inauguration of the Carajás Railroad – which leads the
ranking of the most efficient railways in Brazil, thanks to
constant investment in technology –, the creation of the
Zoobotanical Park – which exclusively houses native species of
the Amazonian fauna and flora and is located within the
Nacional de Carajás, in a Federal Conservation Unit, occupying
an area of 30 preserved hectares – and the inauguration of
the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal.
In the 1990s, Vale was the main exporter in the country,
leader in the world iron ore market. It was much more than a
mining company, although the production, processing and
transport of ore constituted the center of its operations. In
the 1st half of the 1990s, it sought to reinforce
competitiveness in traditional areas of activity and continue
with the geological survey of mining opportunities, expanding
new investments in mining.
And it was at the beginning of the decade, in 1990, that the
first woman took over a leadership position. Shirley Virgínia
Coutinho was the superintendent director of the Vale do Rio
Doce Housing and Social Development Foundation.
This was an important period in the company's history in terms
of growth, at the beginning of the decade the shares began to
be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2006, it achieved
a record market cap of US$ 56.9 billion, making it the largest
mining and metals company in the world. In 2007, the brand
changed, officially going from CVRD to Vale, as it is today.
Other events, such as the creation of the Botanical Park in
Vitória, the launch of the first postgraduate course in
Railroad Engineering in the country and the creation of the
Vale Institute of Technology also took place during this
In its most recent trajectory, Vale has reached important
achievements and faced great challenges that have forever
marked the company's history. Among the advances are the
creation of Vale Fund – which aims to generate a positive
socio-environmental impact – the inauguration of Complexo S11D
Eliezer Batista – which is the largest mining project in its
history and in the mining industry, bringing new impetus to
the economic and social development of the country, especially
the states of Pará and Maranhão – and the creation of the Vale
Cultural Institute – which was created with the aim of
promoting and supporting Brazilian cultural wealth.
In this decade we had the tragedies of Mariana and Brumadinho,
which made Vale take an even more careful look at the lives of
its employees and communities. And it is with a focus on the
present that Vale begins its cultural transformation.
Focus on the present
The 80 years that made Vale what it is today served to show that
tomorrow's change starts today. That's why the company has invested
every day in topics capable of changing not only the internal
environment, but also the world.
Drag to the side and find out what Vale is already doing for the
If in the past railroads and ships were a sign of progress, today
they continue to play an essential role in the company's business.
Currently, Vale has two 100% electric locomotives, one at the
Tubarão Complex, in Vitória, Espírito Santo, and the other on the
Carajás Railroad, in Pará. This initiative is part of the Power
Shift program, which seeks to replace current energy sources with
clean alternatives, contributing to a more sustainable future.
Navigation also evolved and Vale, through the Ecoshipping program,
acquired the world's first large ore carrier equipped with rotor
sails that allow, per year, a reduction of up to 3,400 tons of CO2
equivalent in each ship.
Autonomous equipment in favor of safety
In addition, innovation is now an ally when it comes to safety. If
previously employees had to work in areas subject to the risks
inherent to the operation, today autonomous equipment (72 in
operation in four Brazilian states) perform these functions, while
humans receive qualification to become able to interact with such
equipment and prepare for the mining of the future.
Vale has not only changed its way of transporting its productions
or operating its units, but has also evolved in terms of offering
eco-products to the market. The green briquette - capable of
reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the production
of steel in the steel industries - and the sustainable sand -
which increases the safety of operations by reducing the disposal
of tailings in dams and represents an alternative to consumption
of natural sand – are clear examples of how the attitudes of the
present positively impact everyone's future.
Low carbon nickel
Currently, Vale's operations in Canada produce some of the world's
lowest-carbon, high-purity nickel products, essential for
long-range batteries. With electric vehicles gaining ground in the
market, the company's Class 1 nickel has become strategic in the
production of these batteries and in the electrification of the
industry as a whole. This year, Vale entered into a partnership
with lithium-ion battery producer NorthVolt AB to supply
low-carbon nickel, and with Tesla Inc, a leader in electric
vehicle production. In May, the advantage in sourcing low carbon
products was strengthened by obtaining independent third-party
certification for more nickel products. Around 83% of Vale's Class
1 nickel now has an independently verified carbon footprint.
Respect the differences
More than ever, Vale has invested in the diversity of its team.
Believing that differences add up, the company has worked to offer
a work environment free from stereotypes and prejudices. Some of
the actions already underway encourage the hiring of women,
guarantee benefits for transgender people – such as hormone
therapy and sex reassignment surgery – and encourage the
maintenance of mutual respect through a reporting channel created
to guide and collect complaints from any employee who feels
harassed or discriminated against within Vale.
Improve the future
All the attitudes taken in the present and throughout the 80 years of
history will be reflected in the future. And, to ensure that the future
is better for everyone, Vale has made several commitments that
collaborated with this mission. Discover some of the company's goals:
Within 3 years, Vale has a goal to double the number of women in
the company, compared to 2019. In the last two years alone, the
female presence in the company has grown by approximately 19%,
which is equivalent to approximately 4,500 more women in the
workforce, and there has been an 80% increase in women in senior
In line with the best sustainability practices worldwide, Vale
will invest up to US$ 6 billion to reduce its direct and indirect
carbon emissions by 33% by 2030, that is, those under the
company's responsibility. Three other commitments were also made
for the year 2030, socially speaking they are as follows:
Be among the three best-positioned companies in the industry in
terms of social requirements according to the main external
assessments in sustainable mining;
- Lift 500,000 people out of extreme poverty and
Collaborate with the indigenous communities neighboring all Vale
operations in the preparation and execution of their plans in
pursuit of rights provided for in the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In addition to the target set for 2030, the company has committed
to cutting 15% of emissions in its value chain.
Through all the actions that have already started to be taken and
the other sustainable goals stipulated, Vale intends to become
zero carbon by 2050.