Operator: Vale
Location: Brazil
Term of Stream: Life of Mine
Stream Parameters: 75% of gold production
Upfront Consideration: US$3,059M (US$3,030M cash and 10 million warrants repriced to US$43.75, excludes additional payment if expansion occurs)
Cost Quartile: 1st
Stream: Gold
Primary Metal: Copper

Project Overview

Vale’s Salobo mine (“Salobo”) is the largest copper deposit ever discovered in Brazil. The low-cost copper-gold mine began operating in May 2012 with a design throughput capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa"). Vale has subsequently completed a second phase of construction to expand the mine to 24 Mtpa of mill capacity. Salobo is an integrated operation of open pit mining, mineral processing beneficiation, concentrate loading and transportation. The copper concentrate is transported by road from the mine to Vale's existing rail terminal in Parauapebas, from where it is carried by the Carajás railroad to the Ponta da Madeira maritime terminal located in Sao Luis.

The deposit is considered to be an example of an iron oxide copper-gold (“IOCG”) deposit. Global examples include Olympic Dam in Australia, Candelaria-Punta del Cobre in Chile, and Sossego in Brazil. Mineralization at the Salobo deposit is hosted by upper-greenschist-to-lower-amphibolite-metamorphosed rocks of the Igarapé Salobo Group. The Igarapé Salobo Group consists of iron-rich sediments, quartzites and gneisses, metamorphosed to amphibolite facies and is associated with copper–gold and copper–gold–silver mineralization. The major host units are biotite and magnetite schists.

In October 2018, Vale announced the approval of the Salobo III mine expansion (“Salobo Expansion”), which if completed as proposed, would increase processing throughput capacity from 24 Mtpa to 36 Mtpa once fully ramped up. Wheaton will be required to make an additional payment to Vale, that is expected to range from $550 million to $670 million if the expansion is completed as proposed. Given Vale’s proposed schedule, this payment would likely be made no earlier than 2022.

Mineralization at Salobo remains open at depth and exploration drilling is ongoing to define additional resources.

More Information

To view the December 2019 Salobo Technical Report, please click here or visit For further information about the Salobo mine, please visit Vale S.A.'s website at Cost quartile information is sourced from Wood Mackenzie byproduct cost curves for gold, zinc/lead, copper, nickel, and silver mines.

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