Machinery at work on first stage of Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant dam construction
Rio de Janeiro - AFP
Brazilian mining giant Vale said Wednesday it had struck a $100 million deal to sell nearly half its stake in the huge Belo Monte hydroelectric dam to power firm Cemig Geracao e Transmissao SA.
Vale will retain the right to nine percent of energy produced at the controversial plant and hold onto a 4.59 percent stake through a subsidiary in line with a December 2013 accord, a spokesman said.
Vale, which is selling 49 percent of its stake, is the main private shareholder in the massive dam on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon.
The project, valued at some $13 billion, is the world's third largest behind Itaipu on the Brazilian border with Paraguay and China's Three Gorges dam.
Environmentalists say the dam risks devastating part of the Amazon rainforest and displacing some 40,000 people.
Vale recently said it was decreasing its investment program for this year to $10.1 billion, following three years of earlier cuts and a slump in the price of iron ore of which it is the world's biggest producer.
In February, the firm posted net profits up 12.5 percent at $657 million despite what it termed a difficult year to date with raw material prices falling and the real losing around a third of its value against the dollar in recent months.