BULKS

Limits eased for Vale's Fabrica but pellets remain on hold

Brazil-based miner Vale says some restrictions have been lifted at Fabrica in Minas Gerais but it’s opted to keep the pellet operation paused.

 Some restrictions lifted Vale will keep Fabrica’s pelletising plant in Brazil inactive “for now”

Some restrictions lifted Vale will keep Fabrica’s pelletising plant in Brazil inactive “for now”

Vale said it had received a term of suspension of interdiction from the National Mining Agency (ANM) for the definite operation of the beneficiation and pelletising plants and Area 15 mining fronts at Fabrica.

Vale's facilities have been under increased scrutiny and restrictions following the fatal Brumadinho tailings dam failure in January 2019 which killed 270 people and caused widespread damage.

It said Fabrica had operated via wet processing since April "in a testing regime" and the tests had not detected any increase in risk to structures near the site.

Resuming wet processing at Fabrica was among the factors for a lift in June quarter iron ore production, Vale had said last week.

It said the resumption allowed production to remain close to the 6 million tonne per annum nominal capacity of the processing plant, plus provide greater operational flexibility, however Fabrica's pelletising would remain on hold.

"For now, Vale has decided to maintain the pelletising operation inactive due to operational restrictions, such as access to certain mining fronts and the interdiction of blasting activities, which impact the appropriate quality for the pellet feed production," the company said.

Vale shares are up 30.5% year-to-date, having reached an all-time high in May of BRL120.45.

They last closed at BRL114.12, valuing it at BRL603 billion (US$116 billion).

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