Samarco estimates that only in 2029 it should reach a production scale between 22 million and 24 million tonnes of iron ore per year, the same level as before the failure of the Fundão dam in November 2015.
In November 2015, the dam, owned by Samarco, which is controlled by Vale and BHP – burst, releasing 39.2 million cubic meters of tailings waste in the Rio Doce Basin, killing 19 people. It was considered Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.
Samarco’s gradual restart of operations incorporates concentrator 3 at the Germano complex and pelletising plant 4 at Ubu, as well as a new system of tailings disposal combining a confined pit and tailings filtering system for dry stacking. The company said it expects initially to produce approximately eight million tonnes of iron ore pellets per year.
According to the company, a second concentrator can be restarted in approximately 6 years to reach a production rate of approximately 14-16 million tonnes.
Samarco said it is committed to remediate and compensate the victims and that up to September 2020, over $1.9 billion had been allocated as compensation.