Brazil's Vale to invest $12 billion in 2010-report

BRASILIA Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:36pm EDT

BRASILIA Oct 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining giant Vale (VALE5.SA) will boost investment by more than 30 percent to around $12 billion next year, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said on Saturday, citing a source with links to the company.

The company has faced harsh criticism in recent months from government leaders for not investing enough in Brazil, fueling speculation President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is seeking to force out the company's chief executive Roger Agnelli.

On Wednesday, the the world's largest iron ore producer announced it would invest more than $5 billion by 2015 to boost production capacity in the mining state of Minas Gerais, in efforts to stave off criticism. [ID:nN14269504]

Vale (VALE.N) came under pressure late last year when it laid off some 1,200 Brazilian workers, after idling capacity amid the financial crisis, and again in May after it slashed 2009 investments by 37 percent to $9 billion.

Lula said on Friday he will meet the head of Vale next week and said the company was preparing to announce another set of investments without offering details. [ID:nN16342404]

Vale's second-quarter profits tumbled 84 percent versus the year earlier period as lower iron ore production and prices pushed earnings to around half of what analysts had projected.

(Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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