Anglo American has temporarily suspended the Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil to carry out a complete check-up of the associated 529km pipeline following a reported leak.

The pipeline is laid to transport the slurry form of the ire ore from the mine to the export terminal.

Anglo American noted that a minor leak of non-hazardous slurry was identified in the pipeline last month and was contained in less than eight minutes without any interference to local water supply.

The incident followed a similar leak that occurred near a pumping station on 12 March.

“The incident followed a similar leak that occurred near a pumping station on 12 March.”

To avoid such events in the future, the company has decided to conduct a full inspection using specialised technical equipment to detect potential weakness spots throughout the pipeline.

The checks are estimated to require 90 days based on the length of the pipeline. In order to ensure protection of the environment, Anglo American ceased the operations at the site.

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By GlobalData

Reuters quoted Anglo American Brazil chief Ruben Fernandes saying that the overall repair can cost approximately R$60m ($18.06m).

Located in Minas Gerais state, Minas-Rio is a fully integrated export iron ore project and includes mine, beneficiation plant, slurry pipeline and an exclusive export facility at the port of Açu.

While Anglo American has complete ownership of Minas-Rio, it has a 50% stake in the port facility.

The project recorded 16.8 million tonnes of production last year and is expected to achieve 26.5 million by 2020.