Vale (NYSE: VALE) has received approval from environmental authorities in the northern state of Pará, Brazil, to resume expansion activities at its Serra Leste mine.
The expansion includes the refurbishment of an iron ore mill that is scheduled to bring the processing capacity of the installation to 10 million tonnes per year by early 2023, the company said.
Located 50 km from Curionópolis and 5 km from Serra Pelada, Serra Leste Mine has an estimated reserve of 307.4 million metric tonnes, with average iron content of 65.4%.
The development has been halted since January 2019, after reaching the limit of the area previously licensed for the extraction of iron ore.
Maintenance will be carried out for the safe resumption of operations in December, Vale said.
Serra Leste, which has a production capacity of 6 Mpty, is expected to produce around 4-5 Mtpy in 2021, reaching its full capacity in 2022.
The expansion will represent about 1,300 new jobs on the construction site and approximately 1,100 jobs when the project is in operation, according to Pará state officials.
Vale foresees the extraction and processing of 107 million tonnes of iron ore in the Serra Leste Project over the next 11 years.