Brazilian miner Vale reported a solid financial performance in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13) amidst an environment of below-trend global economic growth and declining minerals and metals prices.

Operating revenues were US$ 11.3bn, operating income, as measured by adjusted EBIT, reached US$ 3.6bn, adjusted EBITDA US$ 5.0bn, and underlying earnings US$ 3.3bn, US$ 0.64 per share.

Iron ore sales were slightly above planned at 61.9Mt in 2Q13 and 117.6Mt in 1H13, and in line with 1H12. The average price for iron ore shipments dropped 11% Q1/Q2 to US$ 99.20/t from US$ 111.70/t in 1Q13, but the mix of different pricing mechanisms in Vale’s sales portfolio cushioned the greater fall of 15% in the IODEX 62% Fe index which fell to US$ 125.95 in 2Q13 from US$ 148.40 in 1Q13. Revenues were sustained at US$ 6.1bn and adjusted EBITDA for ferrous minerals kept steady at US$ 4.7bn, the same level as 1Q13.

Total debt fell slightly to US$ 29.9bn from US$ 30.2bn at the end of 1Q13, despite paying US$ 2.25bn in dividends and investing US$ 3.6bn during 2Q13, thus contributing to sustain financial leverage at 1.6 times the adjusted EBITDA for the last twelve-months, a low level for this stage of the cycle.

One important milestone was attained in July with the granting by the Brazilian environmental protection agency (IBAMA) of the installation license (LI) for Carajás S11D, the largest, highest quality and lowest cost world-class iron ore project in the global industry. Given the combination of high quality and low operating costs, S11D has the potential to generate sizable shareholder value even in the face of a scenario of low iron ore prices.

Vale also completed work on several projects to increase the railway capacity on the Carajás railroad (EFC), an important enabler of production growth for the additional 40Mt/y project.

The license to implement S11D, the improving operational performance of base metals on the back of the successful ramp-up of Salobo, and the strong financial performance supported by lower costs and expenses will uniquely position Vale to be amongst the clear winners in the natural resources industry in the years to come.

Investments in corporate social responsibility reached US$ 262M, of which US$ 214M was for environmental protection and conservation and US$ 48M for social projects.