Brazilian mining giant Vale SA is on track to reach its goal of producing 400 million tonnes of iron ore by the end of 2022 or early 2023, Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo said during the FT Commodities Mining Summit on Friday.
The company is already producing 1 million tonnes of iron ore daily, he said.
In 2018, before the Brumadinho dam collapse, Vale produced 385 million tonnes. For 2020, Vale has a production target between 310 million and 330 million tonnes.
In a securities filing, the company said on Monday it produced 88.7 million tonnes of iron ore in the quarter, up 31.2% from the previous quarter and up 2.3% from the same period a year before, boosted by increased output at its Itabira and Timbopeba complexes and its Fazendao mine, all in southern Brazil.
According to Bartolomeu, by 2023, only 20% of the company’s capacity will be restricted by upstream dams – similar to those that collapsed in Brumadinho and Mariana.
Indigenous peoples of the Xikrin ethnicity asked the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) on Friday to halt Vale’s activities at its main iron ore mine, S11D, located in southeastern Pará, with a capacity to produce around 100 million tons of iron ore by year.
They claim that they were ignored during the licensing process for the mining complex, which started operating in 2016.
Approximately 1,500 members of the ethnic group live in the Xikrin Cateté Indigenous Land, 12 kilometers away from Vale’s mine.
Vale said that “the S11D project is regularly licensed by Brazilian environmental agency (Ibama), meeting all conditions.”
The company said that there was no obligation to prepare a study related to the Xikrin Cateté Indigenous Land, since the mining activity is located more than 10 kilometers from the territory they occupy.
(With files from Reuters)