MELBOURNE/LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Vale SA has chosen Barclays to advise it on the sale of some or all of its Australian coal assets, two people close to the situation said on Monday, as the company looks to raise money to ride out the commodities rout.
The company needs cash to continue building a giant iron ore mine in the Amazon, as its earnings have been hurt by a slump in prices for most of its key products, led by iron ore.
“The chief executive is Brazil-oriented so they could sell everything. They have minimal exposure (in Australia),” one of the people said, declining to be named since the matter is private.
Murilo Ferreira was named CEO of Vale in May 2011. His predecessor, Roger Agnelli, was focused on expansion outside Brazil.
Vale’s coal assets in Australia include the Carborough Downs mine, and the Belvedere and Eagle Downs projects in Queensland.
It is also the majority owner of the Integra mine in New South Wales and 50 percent owner of the Isaac Plains mine in Queensland, both of which it has put on care and maintenance due to the slump in coal prices.
Spokesmen for Vale in Australia, the headquarters of the company’s global coal operations, did not return phone calls or emails on Monday.
Vale last year sold a stake in its Mozambique coal project to Japan’s Mitsui & Co for $763 million. (Reporting by Sonali Paul and Freya Berry, editing by Louise Heavens)