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Brazilian iron ore miner Vale has received approval from the environment and sustainability department of the state of Pará (Semas), to resume and expand operations at its Serra Leste iron ore mine.


The facility in Curionópolis will resume operations in December this year, Vale said in a statement on Nov 27, adding that the Serra Leste mine will raise the output from the current 6mn mt per year to 10mn mt per year in the first half of 2023.


The iron ore mine is expected to produce between 4mn mt to 5mn mt in 2021, Vale noted.


With the resumption of Serra Leste, the miner plans to return to its output capacity of 400mn mt. The mining company’s current production capacity is 318mn mt a year.


The Serra Leste iron ore mine’s operations were halted in January 2019, after reaching the limit of the area licensed for the extraction of iron ore. The company’s iron ore production increased by 2.3pc to 88.6mn mt in Q3 2020, from 86.7mn mt in Q3 2019.

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