May 17, 2020

Why Vale decided to sell another one of its Australian coal mines

3 min
Vale is selling one of its coal mines in Australia for the second time since July.
Looks like Vale is at it again.

The Brazilian mining giant is selling one of its coal mines in Australia for the second time since July.

As our sister...

Looks like Vale is at it again.

The Brazilian mining giant is selling one of its coal mines in Australia for the second time since July.

As our sister site Business Review Australia reported, Vale’s latest sale is a joint purchase between Glencore and Australia’s Bloomfield Group for the Integra coal mine complex in eastern Australia’s New South Wales.

Integra had produced about 4.5 million tons of coal annually before being shut down from both its underground and open cut mines. The site has been in “care and maintenance” since July 2014, as Vale believed keeping it open was no longer sustainable due to the low price of coal.

Now the company has moved on as it made a final decision that the operation is no longer economically viable. Once the sale is finalised, about 65 per cent of Vale’s coal output will come from its flagship Moatize project in Mozambique.

RELATED TOPIC: Vale Sells $763 Million Stake in Moatize Coal Mine to Mitsui & Co.

Vale has attempted to sell Integra since 2012 when it was believed to be worth about AU$500 million, while the price in which the Brazilian miner is selling for now is currently undisclosed.

The sale goes along with Vale’s plans of owning assets able to produce large volumes at competitive costs, and the deal is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.

The Brazilian company owns 61.5 per cent of Integra, while Asian steelmakers, manufacturers and power companies such as Japan’s Toyota Industries Corp, JFE Holdings Inc and South Korea’s Posco have also agreed to sell its stake.

RELATED TOPIC: Glencore, Mick Davis in running to purchase Anglo American's copper mines in Chile

Last month, Vale sold its mothballed Isaac Plains coking and thermal mine to Stanmore Coal for just AU$1 during a mining downturn that took away thousands of jobs and led to billions of dollars in losses. Between that and the news of the new Integra sale, Vale has seen a 7.2 percent reduction in total coal output according to its 2015 first-half results.

Under the agreement, Glencore will take over the underground operations with Bloomfield acquiring the open cut mine.

While Glencore recently said it has no plans to resume mining in the immediate future, Bloomfield wants to integrate its portion of the mine into the company’s existing operations.

RELATED TOPIC: LNG surpassing coal and iron ore in Australia

Bloomfield’s intentions to reopen operations will be a boost to the Aussie job market, as over 4,000 jobs have been cut at Australian coal mines over the past two years.

“This is a logical and unique opportunity that would strengthen our ability to operate over the long term,” said Bloomfield managing director John Richards. “The deal would breathe new life into the Integra open-cut site and will sustain local employment.”

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Jun 2, 2021

Ericsson Private 5G to transform secure on-site connectivity

Smart Mining
3 min
Ericsson Private 5G is a next-gen private cellular 4G & 5G network tailored to drive Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation of industries like mining

Ericsson has launched Ericsson Private 5G. It offers secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.



Ericsson Private 5G optimizes and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees high performance through Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).

It is easily installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API.


Ericsson Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G/5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for both indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies can improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.

Innovative use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimize manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.


Ericsson already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.

Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, at Swedish mining company Boliden, commented: “Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us. Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilize efficiency and safety improving use cases.

Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT added: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”


Enterprise Networks

Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst, ABI Research, noted: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market.  The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavors of enterprise networks.”

Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks, Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, revealed: “With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology. We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets - in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”

Ericsson recently joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.

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