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Brazilian miner Vale plans to produce 390 mil mt of iron ore in 2018, 400 mil mt thereafter

London — Brazilian miner Vale said Thursday it plans to produce 390 million mt of iron ore in 2018, and will focus on quality rather than quantity, as output reaches a ceiling of 400 million mt/year for years to come.

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Vale's iron ore will continue on a track to increase high-grade and lower-impurity materials and pellets, and "there is no reason to change that," CEO Fabio Schvartsman said at an event in London "We will emphasize the flight to quality and the availability of high quality production form Vale," he said.

Schvartsman expects China's demand for higher-grade ores to cut pollution and boost efficiency "is here to stay." Vale expects to produce 400 million mt/year of iron ore products in 2019, and the same quantity each year between 2020 and 2023, Vale said in a statement.

Vale produces coking coal and thermal coal from Mozambique, where the company and partner Japanese trading group Mitsui have built up and financed a new mine complex and logistics chain.

Vale's coal production may rise steadily, from 12 million mt in 2018, up to 14 million mt in 2019. In 2020, Vale expected to produce 18 million mt of coal, and expects 20 million mt/year in output over 2021-23.

--Hector Forster,

--Edited by Jonathan Dart,