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The permit was issued by the country’s mining minister, Edison Lobão, and published in its official gazette on Friday September 19.

The concession allows Anglo American to extract iron ore from a 619-hectare area, producing as much as 20.46 million tpy of material from reserves estimated at 409.3 million tonnes.

Anglo American must start mining work at the reserves within six months. Failure to do so will be taken as formal abandonment of the mine, the resolution read.

Total certified reserves at the company’s Minas-Rio project are estimated at 1.4 billion tonnes of iron ore.

The first batch of slurry iron ore from Minas Rio was recently transported via pipeline from landlocked Minas Gerais state to the Ferroport terminal in Rio de Janeiro state.

The initial shipment from the 26.5 million-tpy project is expected to be made at the end of 2014, a year later than originally estimated.