"We are very confident that it's an issue of time. Having huge material, millions of [high quality] tons, for sure China will see the merit of having Brazilian ore, mainly our ore from Carajas. It's an issue of quality, it's an issue of competitiveness," Ferreira said on Thursday.
Announced on Friday, the deal will see the Brazilian iron ore producer - the world's largest - transport the commodity in its Valemax megaships to China, ending a two-year ban. Its vessels haven't been allowed to dock at mainland ports since 2012 due to safety concerns raised by China.
Asked about the size of cost savings and freight advantages the deal is expected to bring, Ferreira offered an unusual response: "I prefer to say that we are helping the environment. We have a savings of 35 percent in the level of emissions, which is extremely important for us at Vale and extremely important in China as well."
In August, Vale announced plans to double iron ore exports to China within five years.
"We are sticking to [that] plan. We must be very competitive in China, which has one of the lowest costs in the world. With concerns of pollution in China and low levels of contaminant in our ore, we can help the Chinese economy remove some of those concerns."
An oversupplied market
The deal comes as at an opportune time, with iron ore prices are hovering at five-year lows and as Vale's Australian competitors continue to increase output.