Thanks to a few friends, I can positively state that Glencore remains Vale’s agent for manganese ore except in Brazil.
According to my esteemed sources, in 2012 when Glencore made the deal with Vale, there were two agency agreements. The first agreement called “Supply Manganese Ore Agreement” valid for ten year plus additional five years at sole discretion of Glencore. The purpose of this agreement was to supply the both plants (France and Norway) with the high-grade manganese ore produced in the Azul mine. The second one called “Agency Agreement”(exclusive agent for sales and marketing of all of manganese ore produced by Vale in the world market, excluding Brazil) valid for five years, that could be extended for five years, upon mutual agreement between Vale and Glencore.
However, the Azul mine didn’t provide the quality of ore that that two plants required, so Vale and Glencore negotiated a early termination of the “Supply Manganese Ore Agreement” and extend the “Agency Agreement” for additional ten years (valid till 2027) to compensate Glencore for the early termination of the supply agreement.
Vale remains the decision-maker and principal. Glencore is only the Agent and charge a sales commission for its services. Of course Glencore can be a buyer of the manganese ore to resell it in the market.