Vale might suspend operations due to coronavirus

Friday, 13 March 2020 00:21:58 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

Brazilian miner and iron ore producer Vale said Friday it might suspend operations as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.

Vale said the company hasn’t yet been materially affected by the virus. Thus far, no employees have tested positive for Covid-19.

However, Vale anticipated might eventually face “operational difficulties related to its taskforce” and might need to take “contingency measures or eventually suspend operations.”

Vale has several iron ore sites in Minas Gerais state, where two coronavirus cases have been confirmed and 116 are considered “suspected” cases.

The number of infected people in Brazil spiked in the past few days and now reaches 98 people. The Brazilian government-run, free universal health care system, also known as SUS, said it will make 2,000 hospital beds available for coronavirus-infected patients.

Vale said 63.3 percent of its revenues in full-year 2019 came from sales to Asia, and 13.8 percent from sales to Europe.

“We depend on (both) an extensive logistics and supply chains, including ports, distribution centers and suppliers that have operations in these (foreign) affected areas,” Vale said.

Vale said workers at countries where coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19, is widely spread are working from home offices.

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