Vale (NYSE: VALE) has obtained permission from environmental authorities in the northern state of Pará, Brazil, for the resumption of its Serra Leste mine expansion activities.
The expansion requires the renovation of an iron ore plant, which is expected to bring the facility’s processing capacity to 10 million tonnes per year by early 2023, the company said.
The Serra Leste Mine is located 50 km from Curionópolis and 5 km from Serra Pelada and has an estimated reserve of 307.4 million metric tons, with an average iron content of 65.4%.
Development has been halted since January 2019, when the region previously licensed for the extraction of iron ore reached its limit.
Maintenance will be done in December for the secure resumption of operations, Vale said.
Serra Leste, with a 6 Mpty production capacity, is projected to generate approximately 4-5 Mtpy by 2021, achieving maximum capacity by 2022.
According to Pará state officials, the extension will account for about 1,300 new jobs on the construction site and about 1,100 jobs when the project is in operation.
In the Serra Leste Scheme, Vale foresees the mining and processing of 107 million tonnes of iron ore over the next 11 years.