Vale estimates that its 50pc owned Brazilian mining company, Samarco, will likely attain iron ore production levels of 22-24mn mt per year, within nine years. This estimate matches its volumes prior to the Fundão dam accident in November 2015.
Following an update provided by BHP on Samarco’s gradual pellet production restart, Vale added in a news release that a second concentrator can be resumed in about five years, which will allow for the company’s output rate to reach about 14-16mn mt per annum.
With the current reactivation of one out of three concentrators, initial iron ore production is targeted at 7-8mn mt per year, which only represents 26pc of full output capacity held at Samarco, according to Vale.
Brazil’s iron ore and concentrates exports rose by 87.3pc to $2.4bn in December this year.