Vale to record non-cash impairment charge of about $1.6B in Q4
Vale said that, in connection with its annual strategic planning process and the comprehensive review of its business prospects, it has identified that the carrying value of certain long-lived assets exceeds their recoverable amount, implying the recognition of a non-cash impairment charge affecting the company earnings in the fourth quarter of 2019. These impairment charges will not have any cash flow impact and will be treated as exceptional items. The Base Metals business has experienced challenging issues throughout 2019 regarding the reliability of production and processing of the ore originated from its New Caledonian operations. As a result, the company has reduced the expected production levels for the remaining life of the mine and will record a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $1.6B in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a total of approximately $3B long-lived assets the company had recorded for that operations. The company's annual asset review of its New Caledonian operations will be completed by February 2020 and additional adjustments that need to be implemented are still under evaluation, therefore further impairments charges that would also impact fiscal year 2019 cannot be overruled at this time. Furthermore, during the completion of the strategic planning for the Coal business, Vale identified that the expected yield of metallurgical coal and thermal coal has changed since the inception of the project, mostly due to technical issues on the project and operations of those assets. It also conducted a detailed review of the mining plan that reduced the level of proven reserves and revised its metallurgical and thermal coal prices scenarios. As a result, the company will record a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $1.6 in the fourth quarter of 2019. The new mining plan for the Coal business will enable the prioritization of better-quality ore bodies, therefore maximizing the metallurgical coal share on the product mix and with a lower stripping ratio. In 2020, the Moatize operations will enter a 3-month maintenance period and will implement a new operational flowsheet, increasing the plant's productivity and yield. With those measures, Vale expects to reach 15Mtpy run-rate in 2H20 in Moatize.