Iron Ore and Pellets


Iron Ore and Pellets

Iron Ore
and Pellets

Vale is the world’s biggest producer of iron ore and pellets, raw materials essential to the manufacture of steel.

Iron ore is found in nature in the form of rocks, mixed with other elements. By means of various industrial processes incorporating cutting-edge technology, iron ore is processed and then sold to steel companies.

The iron ore produced by Vale can be found in houses, cars and household appliances.

We are investing in technological innovations and developing initiatives to prevent and minimize the environmental impacts that mining causes. Our aim is to set the benchmark in the sustainable management and use of natural resources.


Our mines are concentrated in Brazil, where we also operate pelletizing plants. In addition, we have two pelletizing plants in Oman and stakes in joint ventures in China that produce pellets (small lumps of iron particles).



Carajás is Vale´s biggest operation, located in the Amazon
region in northern Brazil. Carajás’s iron ore is considered the highest quality in the world.




Transforming iron ore into usable material is a long process.
Learn the steps of iron ore production iron with our
interactive infographic.

Clique Aqui ilustração


Technology and Sustainability

Less water

Less water


At Sossego copper mine in Canaã dos Carajás, Pará, a series of actions aimed at increasing water recirculation resulted in a 99% reuse rate in 2012. This has reduced the amount of water pumped from the Parauapebas River by around 900,000 m3 per year, enough to supply a town of 25,000 people for six months.


More reuse

Vale’s ore reuse system has so far made it possible to reprocess 5.2 million metric tonnes of ultrafine ore deposited in tailings ponds. Without this technology, this ore would have been wasted.


Efficient transportation

We operate 10,000 kilometres of railroad tracks and we use the world’s biggest ore carriers. Valemax vessels are capable of carrying 400,000 metric tonnes each – 2.3 times more than traditional Capesize ships – and they emit 35% less CO2 per ton of ore transported.