Brazilian court suspends Vale’s Onca Puma mine operating licence again

Onça Puma nickel mine. (Image: Vale)

A local court has again suspended the operating licence for Brazilian miner Vale’s Onca Puma nickel mine in the north of the country, according to a company securities filing.

Brazil’s Para state won an appeal overturning a previous court ruling that had reinstated the mine’s operating licence, Vale said in a filing late on Wednesday.

The firm said it will adopt the appropriate legal measures, seeking to reverse the latest decision.

Para’s environment department originally suspended the licence to operate Onca Puma, which has an estimated nominal capacity of 27,000 metric tons of nickel per year, in February.

The department at the time flagged irregularities in an annual environmental report and “non-compliance” on mining mitigation efforts that it said resulted in conflicts with local communities.

The mining giant later obtained an injunction temporarily allowing it to resume operations.

A Vale executive said in February that the company did not see signs of environmental or social breach at the mine, adding that an administrative issue could have led to the suspension and the firm would work with authorities to resolve the matter.

Para’s environment department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(By Andre Romani and Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Toby Chopra and Kirsten Donovan)


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