Vale Seeks $500 Million IADB Loan for Argentine Potash Mine

Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore miner, is seeking $500 million from the Inter-American Development Bank to partially finance its $6 billion potash mine in Argentina, an IADB spokesman said.

The company, based in Rio de Janeiro, has applied for a $200 million loan from the institution and a $300 million loan to be syndicated among banks, Carlos Pauletti, the IADB spokesman for the South Cone, said in a phone interview from Montevideo, Uruguay. Proceeds from the funds will be used in Vale’s Rio Colorado project in the western province of Mendoza, Argentina, he said.

The Rio Colorado project will make Argentina the world’s fifth-largest potash producer, the IADB said on its website. Vale, the world’s second-largest mining company, has spent $1.1 billion on the project, which will produce as much as 4.3 million metric tons of potash over a 50-year period, the company said April 25.

“The IADB expects that both loans will be approved sometime during 2013,” Pauletti said. “It is hard to have a clear date given the scale of the project that includes several actors.”

Vale’s spokesman in Argentina Sebastian Pariggi confirmed in an e-mail that the company is trying to obtain both loans.

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