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History Center

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Photo: Ricardo Teles


A story that happens every day

The history of a company is the portrait of its experience, its experience, its learnings, "stories" told by people, individual memories, the dreams of those who made and are part of its trajectory.

In Vale's case, its memories are directly linked to the development of mining in Brazil, its flight to the international market and the search for an increasingly prosperous, technological and sustainable future. The History Center is an initiative that aims to gather, organize, preserve and disseminate our history, present both in documents and in people's memories.

In this virtual space, you will discover items that are part of our collection and that marked Vale's path. With the preservation of our cultural heritage, we intend to promote dialogue with society and transform the company into a source of knowledge and learning.

The starting point

A panorama of downtown Itabira (MG), in 1899.​
Photo: Vale Agency


1st EFVM Locomotive.
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira


EFVM's first locomotives

Vale's trajectory begins before its official birth. We can say that the railway is a starting point.

The history of locomotives in Brazil begins in the middle of the 19th century, more precisely in 1852. The sepia-toned photograph records a train driver beside one of the first locomotives on the Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas (Vitória a Minas Railway), manufactured in 1904.


Fundraising for Companhia Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas

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Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira


Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas during the 1920s.
Photo: National Archive


Transport of ore by rail is authorized

In 1908, the extension of the Itabira iron ore deposits was reported: two English engineers consulted the Companhia Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas (CEFVM) to find out about the possibility of transporting ore through it. With a favorable opinion, they organize the Brazilian Hematite Syndicate.

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Man working in iron foundry in the 1940s.
Photo: Peter Lange / CPDOC / FGV


Itabira Iron Ore is created

In order to replace Brazilian Hematite, in 1911 the Itabira Iron Ore Company is organized, which receives authorization from the Brazilian government to operate.

Itabira Iron Ore was headquartered in London and maintained a representative in Brazil. Its objective was to acquire, explore, develop, work and take advantage of properties, ore deposits, in Itabira.

Nationalization of mineral reserves

Panoramic view of the city of Itabira (MG), in the 1950s.
Photo: Jean Manzon


During the Vargas Government, the president emphasized the need to nationalize mineral reserves. After many opinions, in 1939 the Itabira Iron Ore contract is declared expired, it loses the federal and state concessions that it held, but according to the Mines Code it still owns the lands and iron mines of Itabira.

Mine facilities in the Pico do Cauê region, in Itabira (MG).
Foto: National Library Foundation


Foundation of Companhia Brasileira de Mineração e Siderurgia

In August 1939, Percival Farquhar, an American businessman, owner of Itabira Iron Ore, and six other Brazilians, founded the Companhia Brasileira de Mineração e Siderurgia. The company obtains operating authorization, in addition to the permission to incorporate Companhia Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas.

First shipment of iron ore at the Vitória Port (ES), on the Greek ship Modesta, in June 1940.
Photo: Mazzei


Foundation of Companhia Itabira de Mineração

In 1941, a group of business partners of Percival Farquhar founded Companhia Itabira de Mineração, with the objective of exploring the mines of Itabira Iron Ore.

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Washington Agreements

Iron ore being unloaded from trucks at Vitória Port in the early 1940s.
Photo Erich Hess


In 1942, the Washington Accords oblige the British government to acquire and transfer to the Brazilian government the iron ore deposits belonging to Itabira Iron Ore.

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Official Gazette: Vale is created

In June 1942, a decree-law by Getúlio Vargas sets the basis for how Companhia Vale do Rio Doce would be organized, which would take over Companhia Brasileira de Mineração e Siderurgia and Companhia Itabira de Mineração. In the text, it is possible to identify the legal procedures necessary for the act, such as payments and indemnities. This is the moment when Vale also inherits the pre-existing Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas.

Diário Oficial 02/06/1942
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira

View of Cauê Mine in full swing, in 1943, in Itabira (MG).
Photo: Erich Hess


Created to last
50 years

Document dated 1942 that brings the manifesto, decrees and statutes of the creation of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce. The document is curious that Vale, a newborn, had a pre-established 50-year term.

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Mineral wealth is now from Brazil

Charcoal being loaded into straw baskets for the railroad cars, probably on the banks of the Doce River.​
Photo: Jean Manzon


With the creation of CVRD, Brazil definitively obtains possession of a railroad of the highest importance and port facilities for loading ore, in addition to a substantial portion of mineral wealth.

“Now, hands on”

Israel Pinheiro's act marks the beginning of Vale

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The president of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), Israel Pinheiro (in a white suit), and delegation visit the Atalaia ore wharf at Vitória Port (ES).​
Photo: Mazzei


Pico do Cauê - First years of iron ore extraction.
Photo: Erich Hess


It all starts in Itabira

Today Vale is one of the largest producers of iron ore, pellets and nickel in the world. The image records the beginning of our work, in the 1940s, in the Itabira region, Minas Gerais.

Extraction of ore

Minas Gerais deserves a prominent place in our history. In the beginning, Vale's operations were concentrated in Itabira. The black and white image records a worker working in the extraction of ore in a rudimentary way, at a time when technological methods of extraction did not exist.

The first engineer

Carlos Nunes de Lima (standing in the left corner of the photo) is officially Vale's first engineer, admitted on June 26, 1942, just 25 days after the mining company was created.

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Team photo of the Valeriodoce E. Clube soccer club, in the 1940s.
Photo: Carlos Nunes de Lima Collection


First shipment of the ore

In 1942, the year in which Vale was created, the Second World War is a reality. The Americans were looking for raw materials for the production of armaments and iron ore was essential, which consequently helped the purchase process. However, the first shipment of ore removed from Itabira ended at the bottom of the sea: the English ship SS Baron Napier was attacked by Germans after its departure in July of the same year. The lost load was 5.7 thousand tons.

Here, you see original documents of the first shipment and the Jornal da Vale of November 1975 presents a copy of other documents of the shipment of the ore, on July 27, 1942. A curiosity is that the transport insurance covered losses caused by the 'enemies of the King', that is, pirates!

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Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira

Minutes of the CVRD Constitution Assembly.​
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira


Minutes of the CVRD Constitution Assembly

Original document of the Minutes of the Definitive Constitution of the Public Limited Company CVRD, dated January 11, 1943, carries the list with the handwritten signature of each of the shareholders present.

Public Deed of Donation

Original document of the Public Deed of Donation of Itabira Iron Ore Company Limited to the Federal Government, dated January 8, 1943, officializes the donation of deposits that were found in thirteen properties in Itabira.

Public Deed of Donation.
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira

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Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira

A gift to Getúlio Vargas?

Dated 1944, the album was supposedly offered to the then President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil, Getúlio Vargas. The present was a form of homage, since, at that time, Itabira was called Presidente Vargas - in fact, this is one of the curiosities that surrounds the album, which can be accessed in its entirety in our know more.

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Railroad cars and trains in the 1950s

CEFVM´s Set of Photos.​
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira


The set of 25 original photographs shows the various Railroad cars and trains of railway vehicles on the Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas in 1950.

CEFVM´s Set of Photos.
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira.

IBGE illustrative photo of theTio de Janeiro Stock Exchange.
Photo: Gilson


Vale's first shares are auctioned on the stock exchange

On October 25, 1956, the first 716 CVRD shares were auctioned on the Rio de Janeiro Stock Exchange

Vitória, Espírito Santo (ES), Brazil, 1966 - Aerial view of construction work on the Tubarão Port Complex.​
Photo: Correio da Manhã / National Archives


A milestone for the advance of exports

For the company to advance on the world stage, it was necessary to be able to export more. To this end, on April 1, 1966, the Port of Tubarão is opened in Vitória, Espírito Santo.

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Carajás: the discovery

Pará, Brazil, 09/17/1967, Geologist Breno dos Santos - Geologist Breno dos Santos who worked for Companhia Meridional de Mineração participated in the search for minerals in the North of the country.​
Foto: Breno Augusto dos Santos Collection


On July 31, 1967, geologist Breno Augusto dos Santos makes a landing in a clearing in southeastern Pará to supply. Breno was chief of staff for geologists at US Steel, an American steelmaker, which was looking for manganese in the region for its mills in the United States.

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A cinema idea

Sketches of Vale's historic uniform


No photos of Vale's first uniform were found. But the book Histórias da Vale tells that the engineer of Mines and Metallurgy João Márcio Queiroga saw a film in which the actor Kirk Douglas wore an engineer uniform and asked his wife to reproduce it, due to the practicality of having a pocket to keep rulers. Vale's superintendent liked it and asked them to make the same uniform for all employees.

Jornal da Vale

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CVRD gains a logo

In August 1975, Jornal da Vale highlights the launch of the new logo of the then Companhia Vale do Rio Doce - idealized by Desenho Ltda. The version was the winner of a competition instituted to standardize the company's visual communication.

Vale Natural Reserve is founded

Vale Natural Reserve.
Photo: Ricardo Teles


The Vale Natural Reserve was founded in 1951, at a time when the concern with the preservation of the environment was little disseminated. In 1978, RNV became an area officially dedicated to conservation and scientific research. Today, the Reserve preserves a unique area of Atlantic Forest practically intact in Linhares, in Espírito Santo. There are about 23 thousand hectares - equivalent to the size of 23 thousand soccer fields.

Drummond's autograph

In the edition of nº 85 of Jornal da Vale, a report is published about Itabira's birthday, in Minas Gerais. The cover featured one of Drummond's most famous poems, “Sentimento do mundo” (Feeling of the world) and the story used to rescue Itabira from the past.

As a thank you, the poet sent a message to Vale. More than praise, the vehicle receives an autograph from Carlos Drummond de Andrade, whose letter was published in the following edition.

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"Carajás was a dream with eyes wide open"

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Vale Zoo and Botanical Park is created


Brazilian species of eagle - Harpia
Foto: Ricardo Teles


Created in 1985, the Vale Zoo and Botanical Park covers an area of 30 hectares and allows the free movement of species of birds, agoutis and monkeys in their areas of visitation - which allows a unique experience of immersion in the Amazon rainforest.

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A visit from British royalty

Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Carajás.
Photo: Marcelo Carnaval


On April 23, 1991, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, landed in Carajás, Pará. They are welcomed by students and residents when visiting the complex's residential core.

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Commemorative book - 50 years of history

Vale publishes a book with a history of the company on its 50th anniversary.​​


Privatization of Vale.
Photo: Marcelo Carnaval


Vale is privatized

On May 6, 1997, a hammer is beaten and Vale is privatized

Beginning of a partnership with China

Vale continued to expand its international business and took the first step to start exports to China, today the company's main customer.

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Developing talent in music


Music is capable of awakening the deepest feelings in each of us. That is why, since the 2000s, the Vale Música Program has created opportunities for students to participate in musical training and develop their talents.

Watch the movie and find out more about Vale Música.

Original Listing / Companhia Vale do Rio Doce / Rio / 2000.
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira


Vale arrives at the New York Stock Exchange

In the early 2000s, Vale started to have its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The New York Stock Exchange is considered one of the most famous financial institutions in the United States.


60 years: a story told by people

In celebration of Vale's 60th anniversary, a book is published with photos, testimonials and exclusive stories about the mining company's trajectory.

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Sossego Mine operates

In 2004, Vale inaugurates the Sossego Mine, the company's first copper operation.

Vale Botanical Park.
Photo: Vitor Nogueira


Stimulating living with nature

The Botanical Park began its activities in May 2004 and is part of Vale's Green Belt in Vitória, Espírito Santo. The space of 33 hectares of Atlantic Forest is aimed at leisure and encouragement of living with nature.

It is possible to observe more than 140 species of trees in addition to migratory birds, otters, reptiles and alligators of yellow crop.

Facade of the House of Culture.​
Photo: Paulo Moreira


Valuing culture

Vale is an advocate and promoter of the engagement of local culture in its operations. The House of Culture of Canãa dos Carajás is inaugurated in 2004.

The space aims to enable encounters, thoughts and creations. It is an invitation for visitors to socialize, share experiences and learn together.


São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo, Minas Gerais (MG), Brazil, 08/27/2016 - Brucutu Mine.​
Photo: Ricardo Teles


Largest iron ore mine in Minas Gerais starts operating

The Brucutu mine, located in São Gonçalo do Rio Below, Minas Gerais, goes into operation in 2006. At the time of the inauguration, the mine / plant complex was considered the largest in initial production capacity deployed in the world. The unit is the largest iron ore mine in Minas Gerais in production.

Purchase of Canadian mining company Inco

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Companhia Vale do Rio Doce has acquired Inco.
Reproduction: Marcele Oliveira


A new brand
for a new Vale


With the purchase of Inco and the advancement of our operations in other countries, we need to consolidate our image as a global company. Then, in 2007, a name emerges, a new brand. Vale. The decision took into account the strength, simplicity and sound of the name Vale, which is used in several languages.

Suspension of sale to pig iron makers

Vale suspends the supply of iron ore to pig iron producers that violate labor and environmental legislation in Brazil.

Brazilian Immortal Awards - Commemorative Stamps.
Photo: Vale Agency


Brasil Imortal Award

The Brazilian Immortal Award was created in 2008 to enhance the performance of citizens who contribute to the preservation of natural wealth and the development of the country's communities.

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Photo: Márcia Foletto


Windfences in Tubarão

Throughout the construction of our history, we continue to learn and seek alternatives that are increasingly sustainable for our business. In 2009, wind barriers, or windfences, are installed in the Tubarão Complex, in Espírito Santo. The metallic structures, which have a screen attached, surround the main storage yards and aim to reduce the emission of dust.

Each barrier is one and a half times the height of the stockpiled product, varying between 19 and 30 meters in height. The structure was the first in Latin America and Vale.

Open Letter to Brazil on Climate Change

Seedling Planting​.
Photo: Leo Drumond / Agência Nitro​


National Forest (Flona) of Tapirapé-Aquiri and Itacaiúnas River.
Photo: Ricardo Teles


Twenty-two private entities and companies with Brazilian capital launched, in 2009, an open letter to Brazil on climate change, presenting their voluntary commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The letter is a milestone because, for the first time, businessmen in the country's productive sector formally present initiatives to combat global warming.


Brazilian Immortal Awards - Young Illustrators.
Photo: Vale Agency


Young Illustrators

Young Illustrators Project seeks to awaken artistic skills, disseminate concepts of environmental education and botanical knowledge among young people. The botanical illustration workshops, which took place in 2009, involved two thousand young people and public school teachers in 17 Brazilian cities. Six young people and a teacher were selected to illustrate stamps of species chosen for the second edition of the Brazilian Immortal Award.

Vale Memorial Minas Gerais.
Photo: Marcelo Coelho


Museum of experiences

A “museum of experiences”. This is the best expression to describe the Memorial Minas Gerais Vale, located in Belo Horizonte. The space presents the history, culture and traditions of Minas Gerais through provocations in the exhibition content, promoting dialogue with the most diverse visiting audiences.

Inaugurated in 2010, the museum occupies the building where the State Secretariat of Finance functioned, listed by the State Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage of Minas Gerais ─ IEPHA MG, the building dates back to 1897.

Valemax: Giant of the seas

Valemax is a giant in every sense of the word: the model, specially built to transport ore, which came to be used by Vale in 2011, is 362 meters long and over 30 meters high.

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70 years of a living Vale

The research on Vale's 70 years was essential for the survey and organization of historical items that contributed to the production of the book, “Nossa História”, and for the launch of the medium-length film that took the same title. The film, which featured 165 respondents from 10 countries, won a Golden Dolphin at the 2012 Cannes Corporate Award.

Root in the Historic Center

Vale Maranhão Cultural Center.
Photo: Ricardo Teles


Inaugurated in 2014, the Vale Maranhão Cultural Center takes root in the historic center of São Luís, in Maranhão. The space dialogues with its surroundings in a harmonious way and keeps its doors open to all audiences, encouraging dialogue, creations and new proposals by artists of the local culture.

Complex S11D Eliezer Batista is inaugurated

In 2016, Vale inaugurated the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex, the largest project in the company's history. The operation combines cutting-edge technology, low cost and high productivity. Our special magazine features highlights and construction details.

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Canaã dos Carajás, Pará (PA), Brazil, 06/14/2017 - Aerial view of the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex. In the photo, crushing and screening area.
Photo: Ricardo Teles


Assembly of the new buildings at the Cauê Plant, Itabira, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Photo: Bruno Vereza


A new wave for mining

In order to reuse the iron ore that was accumulated in piles formed over the years, the Itabiritos Project appears.

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Autonomously driven truck with a capacity of 240 tons.​


Autonomous mine

In 2018, huge off-road trucks, with a capacity of 240 tons, circulate on the roads of a mining area without an operator in the cabin.

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Dam breakage I

The brackage of Dam I of the Córrego do Feijão mine, on January 25, 2019, in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, forever marks the history of Vale, its employees and the impacted communities and people. To follow Vale's main actions since the dam burst, visit:

Lead the transition to neutral mining

Commitment to Sustainability

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Vale Cultural Institute


The Vale Cultural Institute is created with the purpose of democratizing access and promoting art, culture and the development of regional artistic expressions. Vale believes in the transforming power of culture and, for more than two decades, the company has invested and fostered multiple Brazilian cultural events.​

100% electric locomotive

Vale and Progress Rail develop the first 100% electric locomotive for Brazilian mining.
Photo: Amélio Luiz Mandelli


The first 100% electric, battery-powered locomotive in Brazilian mining is from Vale. The project is a partnership between Vale and Progress Rail and is part of the PowerShift program, which aims to replace its energy matrix with clean sources.

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Our actions in the pandemic

Coronavirus Kit - Arrival in Brazil.
Photo: Renan Simões


In 2020, the world was taken aback by the new coronavirus pandemic. In addition to reviewing all the health and safety protocols for our operations around the world, we understand that this was a time when we needed to put our efforts into humanitarian aid.

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Guilherme Correa de Oliveira, senior researcher at ITV in the Genomics laboratory.
Photo: Ricardo Teles


ITV: science in search of answers

In 2020, the Instituto Tecnológico Vale celebrates 10 years of existence. In the same year of its anniversary, ITV and Fiocruz entered into a partnership to strengthen the search for answers on the behavior of the new coronavirus.

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Fundo Vale completes 10 years

Launched on June 5, 2010, the Vale Fund supported over 75 initiatives in 10 years between research institutions, local governments, NGOs, startups and community associations to protect more than 23 million hectares of forest, contributing , for this, about R $ 130 million in the last decade.

Protection of the Amazon


For over 30 years, Vale has been working to protect the forest in the Amazon. In partnership with ICMBio, we maintain six conservation units, which form the Mosaic of Carajás, in southeastern Pará, an area of about 800 thousand hectares, equivalent to five times the city of São Paulo.