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“Heavy rainfall since [earlier this month] in the south-east of Brazil, especially in the state of Espírito Santo where floods and landslides occurred, affected the iron ore transportation capacity through the EFVM railway and operations at the Tubarão port,” Vale said on Saturday December 28.

The miner estimated that some 3-4 million tonnes of shipments in 2013 are affected, but added that up to 2 million tonnes could be “potentially recovered in the first quarter of 2014”.

“Vale is working to safely resume its operations in the following days and to minimise the impacts of the rains,” the statement noted.