RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining company Vale SA faces no risk of a debt downgrade in the next two years despite a recent plunge in the price of iron ore, its main product, Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira told investors on a conference call Thursday.
Despite the crimp on revenue and the company’s scramble to cut costs and sell underperforming assets, Vale will not be pressured into a planned spin-off of a stake in its base-metals division if market conditions make it hard to get a good price, the company said.
During the call Ferreira and other executives also outlined operational and market expectations in the coming months and years.
Vale, which became the world’s largest producer of nickel last year, expects to produce 37,000 tonnes of the metal used to make steel rust-resistant, at its Goro, or VNC, nickel mine on the French Pacific island of New Caledonia.
The company also expects steel demand in China, the largest producer of the metal and biggest market for iron ore, to recover slightly in next few months.
Sixty million tonnes of high-cost iron ore production capacity has already exited the international market as a result of low prices, executives said. (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Writing by Jeb Blount; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)