Vale has begun drilling at Avanco Resources' Trindade North iron ore project in Brazil.
Currently, four rigs are operating on the project and the fifth rig will be mobilised in the coming weeks.
The early exploration has shown significant widths of banded iron formation intersected in the drill core.
According to an option agreement made between Vale and Avanco Resources, Vale has been granted rights to explore the Trindade North project.
The Trindade North property is located close to Vale's N4-N5 iron ore mine in the Carajas Mineral Province.