Vale to fully resume Brucutu iron ore operations after court ruling

Brucutu, which has an annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of iron ore, is the second largest mine in the country, behind Vale’s Carajás. (Image: Agência Vale)

Brazilian miner giant Vale (NYSE:VALE) is ready to fully resume operations at its Brucutu iron ore mine, the largest in the Minas Gerais state, within 72 hours, after an appeals court overturned an earlier ruling that halted processing because of concern about the safety of a nearby dam.

Wet processing at Brucutu was suspended in early February at the request of local prosecutors following the tailings dam disaster at Brumadinho, which left 243 dead.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company, the world’s largest iron ore miner, also reaffirmed its 2019 iron ore and pellets sales guidance of 307 million to 332 million tonnes. It estimates that sales should be around the midpoint of that target range, up from its previously forecast low end of the range.

Brucutu, which has an annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of iron ore, has been producing since then at an annual rate of only 10 million tonnes.

Behind Vale’s Carajás mine, Brucutu is the second largest iron ore operation in Brazil.

News of Vale’s mine’s revival come on the same day rival Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO), the world’s second largest iron ore miner, cut its production guidance for the commodity due to operational problems, particularly in the Greater Brockman hub in Australia’s Pilbara region.

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