Brazil’s Vale plans to increase its iron ore output by 18pc to 355,000mt in 2020 as it gradually resumes production from its mines that were closed last year due to a dam rupture in the Brumadinho region and bad weather conditions.
The South America based miner does not expect a major impact in its operations this year due to the coronavirus epidemic in China, but expects some prices changes during the year, the company indicated without disclosing further details.
In 2020, the company is looking to move on from the crisis caused by the collapse of Dam 1, in Brumadinho which killed 250 people, making it Brazil’s worst industrial accident. The company has said that it will replenish its inventories during the year to ensure appropriate supply, even though it hinted at lower sales during the year.
In 2019, The Brazilian company’s iron ore output decreased by 21.5pc to 301,972mt, compared to the prior year, mainly due to the Brumadinho crisis and bad weather conditions. The miner’s copper production also fell by 3.6pc to 381,100mt over the same period, due to lower production from Sossego mine. However, the low volumes werepartially offset by an all-time record production from its Sudbury mine, Vale reported.
Nickel output from Vale’s mines also decreased by 15pc to 208,000mt in 2019, compared to the prior year due to lower production from its Thompson, New Caledonia (VNC) and Onça Puma mine. Nickel operations were also impacted due to maintenance shutdowns at the North Atlantic refineries, which have now resumed operations.
The company’s pellets production declined by 24.4pc to 41,794mt in 2019 compared with 2018, due to the stoppage of the Fábrica and Vargem Grande pellet plants, following the Dam 1 rupture.