Vale to partially resume dry processing at Vargem Grande complex

24 July 2019 (Last Updated July 24th, 2019 11:35)

Iron ore miner Vale has secured permission from Brazil’s National Mining Agency (ANM) to partially resume dry processing operations at the Vargem Grande Complex in Rio de Janeiro.

Iron ore miner Vale has secured permission from Brazil’s National Mining Agency (ANM) to partially resume dry processing operations at the Vargem Grande Complex in Rio de Janeiro.

In February, ANM ordered Vale to suspend activities at the Vargem Grande complexes as part of a crackdown following a fatal dam break.

Activities at the mine were suspended to prevent occasional triggers that could affect dam stability as a result of on-going activities at the complex.

The latest decision from the ANM will enable the partial resumption of dry processing operations at the complex within 24 hours, which is expected to add about five million tonnes of additional production in 2019.

According to the company, the resumption would increase the supply of Brazilian Blend Fines.

The Vargem Grande site comprises three open-pits, namely Tamandua, Capitao do Mato and Aboboras.

Vale said it reaffirms its 2019 guidance for iron ore and pellets sales at 307Mt-332Mt as per an earlier announcement and estimates current sales volume to be around the midpoint of the range.

Last month, Vale resumed complete operations at Brucutu mine in Sao Goncalo do Rio Abaixo, Minas Gerais, after the Supreme Court reversed a previous ruling that stopped processing due to concerns of safety at a nearby dam.

Operations at the Brucutu mine were closed in February following the request of prosecutors in Minas Gerais state when a tailings dam burst in late January in Brumadinho.

The dam collapse at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron mine killed more than 240 people and unleashed a mudslide on the local town of Brumadinho.

In a separate announcement, Vale said that it remains focused on repair fronts in Brumadinho and other affected municipalities along the Paraopeba River.