Global demand for food is increasing, while the space available on the planet to grow crops is decreasing. How can we resolve this situation? The answer lies in fertilizers: substances that raise crop yields and enable larger harvests.

The relationship between this sector and mining is simple: two of the main inputs for making fertilizers – potash and phosphates – are extracted from the ground through mining processes. We also produce nitrogen using a chemical process.


We currently produce fertilizer inputs in Brazil and Peru. We are also developing projects in Canada.

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Taquari - Vassouras,

Located in Sergipe, Taquari-Vassouras is the only potash mine in Brazil. The operation, whose production capacity is 625,000 metric tonnes per year, is a partnership with Petrobras. All of Taquari-Vassouras’ output is sold in Brazil.


Since 2010, Vale has been operating the Bayóvar Mine in Peru, located on one of the biggest phosphate rock deposits in South America. Capable of producing 3.9 million metric tonnes per year, the mine has world-class resources and low mining costs.


Fertilizers and their Usage

If you have ever bought plant food, you have probably seen this acronym, NPK. It refers to the symbols of the chemical elements that make up the fertilizer.

  • Nitrogen

    Indispensable to photosynthesis, nitrogen favours rapid plant growth and the development of foliage.

  • Potassium

    Enhances the internal circulation of plant liquids, and is fundamental to the quality of fruits.

  • Phosphorus

    Strengthens roots and allows plants to exploit a larger volume of soil, making better use of nutrients.


Green Technology

In 2011, Vale began implementing a new technology for controlling the emissions of polluting gases at its ammonium nitrate plant at Piaçaguera industrial complex in São Paulo, Brazil. The new system, already implemented, filters the finest gas particles in circulation, preventing them from reaching the atmosphere. This technology should be completely implemented by the end of 2013.