Vale to expand iron ore production capacity in Carajás region by 20 million tpy

The board of directors of Brazil-based miner Vale has approve a project to expand capacity in the miner’s Serra Sul iron ore site, in the country’s northern Carajás region, by 20 million tonnes to 120 million tonnes per year.

The Serra Sul 120 project will expand the production capacity of Vale’s S11D mine and plant, which is the main unit in the Carajás region, with start-up expected to the first half of 2024, the company announced late on Thursday August 13.

The investment will amount to $1.5 billion, and the project will include the opening of new mining areas, the duplication of a long distance belt conveyor and the implementation of new processing lines at the plant, among other measures.

“The expansion of the mine-plant capacity and the development of additional logistics capacity are important steps for the iron ore volume growth, the maximization of margin and the flight-to-quality optimization,” Vale said.

Fastmarkets’ daily iron ore index 65% Fe Brazil-origin fines, cfr Qingdao reached $128.50 per tonne on August 17, down $0.10 per tonne from the previous day’s $128.60 per tonne but 22.7% higher than $104.70 per tonne at the start of the year.

Production at Vale’s S11D unit came to 18.14 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2020, up by 15.3% from 15.74 million tonnes a year before.

As a result of the project’s execution, and the delay in projects this year because of the Covid-19, Vale plans to revise its guidance of investments for 2021, which is currently in $5 billion, and also the guidance for the period 2022-2024.

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