SAO PAULO, Oct 12 (Reuters) Brazil's CVRD, the world's largest iron ore producer and exporter, has said it plans to spend $59 billion in 2008-2012 to more than double output of copper and expand production of iron ore and nickel.
CVRD said iron ore output should jump to 422 million tonnes by the end of 2012 from 300 million tonnes at the end of 2007, while nickel production is forecast to rise to 507 million tonnes from 260 million this year.
Production of copper is expected to rise to 592 million tonnes in 2012 from 290 million.
''The decision to invest on such a huge scale is firmly based on our confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the global economy and on the belief in a structural change in the demand for minerals and metals,'' the company said in a filing with Brazil's securities regulator.
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, as the company is formally known, will spend $11 billion in 2008 in its largest ever annual investment plan.
The biggest chunk of investment next year will go to the company's Carajas project with $1.16 billion. The company will spend $723 million in its Goro nickel project in New Caledonia and $581 million to the Onca Puma, a nickel mine in northern Brazil.
CVRD's main business remains iron ore, but the company has recently branched out into other metals, buying Canadian nickel company Inco late last year for $17.6 billion. The company has also invested heavily to develop copper projects including the huge Salobo mine in northern Brazil.
The company has benefited from a surge in prices for minerals such as copper and nickel and growing demand from steelmakers for iron ore.
CVRD's have preferred shares surged about 90 percent so far in 2007, far outpacing the 40 percent rise in the benchmark Bovespa index .BVSP>. The jump in share prices helped CVRD surpass state-controlled Petrobras as Brazil's biggest company by market value earlier this month.
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