Brazil's Vale to sell Colombian coal assets to unit of Goldman Sachs for $407 mn

Brazilian mining giant Vale yesterday said that it would sell its thermal coal assets in Colombia to a unit of Colombian Natural Resources, a mining company wholly-owned by Goldman Sachs, for $407 million in cash.

Vale had bought the Colombian thermal coal's assets for about $306 million in 2008.

Under the deal, Vale will sell 100 per cent of its thermal coal mines El Hatillo and Cerro Largo in the department of Cesar, and its port terminal Sociedad Portuaria Rio Córdoba on the Caribbean coast.

The world's second-largest mining company after BHP Billiton, will also sell its 8.43 per cent stake in the Ferrocarriles Del Norte de Colombia, which operates the railway between the mines and the terminal.

''The sale of the thermal coal operations in Colombia is part of our continuous efforts to optimise the asset portfolio,'' The Rio de Janeiro-based company said in a statement.

Vale, which also has coal mines in Australia, Mozambique and Mongolia, is selling its thermal coal mines and other non-core assets in order to focus on its core assets like iron ore and metallurgical coal, both used in making steel.
In 2010, it sold its Brazilian aluminium businesses for approximately $4.9 billion to Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company Norsk Hydro ASA.