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Vale Says Brazil Royalties Discussion Is ‘Well Advanced

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June 19 (Bloomberg) -- Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, is “well advanced” in discussions with Brazil on as much as 5.64 billion reais ($2.77 billion) in outstanding royalty payments, Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira said.

“I see the commitment from both sides to reach an agreement,” Ferreira said today in an interview at a conference in Rio de Janeiro. “I want this to be concluded as soon as possible.”

Ferreira declined to comment on how much the company would end up paying. Vale rose 2.6 percent to 39.71 reais at the close in Sao Paulo today to the highest since May 7.

Vale, based in Rio, has been fighting Brazilian government tax claims amid growth in its export volume and rising mineral prices. The company and Brazil’s National Mineral Production Department set up in August a group to discuss the amount of disputed royalties and failed to reach an agreement by an initial October deadline.

The talks were extended four times and Vale received in April an additional 60 days. The company said April 17 that it estimated the royalty dispute at about 5.64 billion reais as of Dec. 31, including possible fines and interest payments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto in Rio de Janeiro at jspinetto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Saponar at rsaponar@bloomberg.net

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