Brazilian miner Vale has suspended mining activities at its Itabira mining complex, comprising the Conceicao, Caue, and Periquito mines, following cases of its workers testing positive for COVID-19.
The company said in an announcement that the closure follows a court order issued on June 5 after a spike in COVID-19 positive cases were reported at the complex.
The miner’s fines production guidance, which remains at 310-330mn mt for 2020, would not be impacted by these stoppages. However, there could be some temporary shortages of pellets in the domestic market since the mines at Itabira, provide this material for the pelletizers of the Tubarão complex. The Itabira complex has an annual iron ore production capacity of around 35-40mn mt and produced 35.9mn mt in 2019.
Vale has also revised its production from Itabira to 2.7mn mt for the next few months, but has kept its annual guidance unchanged for the location. The company had said earlier that its iron ore production guidance in 2020 took a potential negative impact of around 15mn mt from activity stoppages related to COVID-19 into consideration.
Iron ore prices hit ten-month high
Last week, global iron ore 62pc Fe fines prices jumped to a 10-month high crossing the 100-dollar mark to $100.9/mt cfr China. Prices rose amid possibility of lowering global iron ore supply because of suspension in mining activities and also due to rising demand after COVID-19 restrictions eased across the world.