Luxembourg-headquartered Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) has announced the start of commercial production at the Pedra de Ferro iron ore mine in Brazil this month.

The mine will begin commercial production with an initial capacity of 2mtpa of high-grade iron ore. Once ramped up to full production, the mine will produce 18mtpa of ore. Pedro de Ferro has an expected mine life of 30 years.

ERG is a diversified natural resources group with integrated mining, processing, energy, logistics, and marketing operations, operating in 15 countries. In the State of Bahia in Brazil, the company is advancing BAMIN, an integrated mining and logistics project which includes the Pedro de Ferro mine as well as Porto Sul, a deep-water port complex, and an associated railway.

ERG is currently advancing plans for Porto Sul, with initial works to focus on the construction of necessary infrastructure. The BAMIN project is expected to increase the State of Bahia’s economic strength in Brazil by raising the State to become the country’s third-largest iron ore producer.

Infrastructure work for Porto Sul is expected to generate 400 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs.

ERG chair of the board of directors Alexander Machkevitch said: “BAMIN is demonstrating exceptional potential and we are reassured by the pace at which the project is advancing this year. The progress is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the team in Brazil and across the group. We look forward to seeing the project continue to deliver strong socioeconomic benefits to local communities and the broader region.”

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BAMIN has been a project in development for more than a decade, with the initiation installation licence acquired in 2010. Investment in BAMIN has totalled an estimated BRL10bn ($1.96m).

ERG CEO Benedikt Sobotka said: “We are very pleased with BAMIN’s continued progress. The start of operations at Pedra de Ferro is a fundamental step towards the full implementation of the project. Porto Sul, in addition to its strategic importance, will strengthen the local economy and support the growth of other sectors.

“While implementing the BAMIN project we also aim to positively contribute to the economic and social recovery and help mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic.”