Minas Gerais, Brazil
Iron Ore - 120.2 Mt (2011)
|Deposit Type||Banded Iron Formations (BIF)|
|Reserves & Resources||
Iron ore - 3.5 billion tonnes @ 49.4% (proven & probable, Dec 31, 2011)
|Mining Method||Open pit|
|Processing Method||Crushing, classification and concentration|
|Mine Life||To 2044|
|Mining Equipment||Truck & shovel|
|Processing equipment||Crushers, classifiers, concentrators|
Av. Graça Aranha, 26 - 12th floor
Ph: 55-21-38144477; 55-21-38148888
Last updated: Aug 23, 2012
The Brazilian Vale S.A. is the world’s biggest producer of iron ore and pellets.
Vale operates four systems in Brazil for producing and distributing iron ore: the Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Midwestern systems. The Northern and the Southeastern systems are fully integrated, consisting of mines, railroads, a maritime terminal and a port. Vale also operates 10 pellets plants in Brazil.
The Southeastern System mines are located in the Iron Quadrangle region of the state of Minas Gerais, where they are divided into three mining sites: Itabira, Minas Centrais and Mariana. Each of the mine sites have beneficiation plants. The ore has iron grade of 35-60% and requires concentration to achieve shipping grade. Iron ore is being sent to the Tubarao port in Vitoria, in the state of Espırito Santo on Vale's wholly owned EFVM railway.
In 2011, the Southeastern System produced 120.2 million tonnes iron ore.
The Southeastern System mines are located in the Iron Quadrangle region of the state of Minas Gerais, where they are divided into three mining sites: Itabira, Minas Centrais and Mariana
Brazil is the largest country in South America. It hosts the world's largest Portuguese speaking population. The country has a rich developing economy which was ranked on the sixth place in 2011. Minas Gerais is the country's second most populous state. Its capital city is Belo Horizonte.
Iron ore is a mixture of hematite (an iron oxide mineral) and quartz. Together, hematite and quartz form a kind of layered rock called itabirite (a banded iron formation indicating a low-grade type of iron ore found in the region).
The ore reserves in the mining sites have high ratios of itabirite ore relative to hematite ore. Itabirite ore has iron grade of 35-60% and requires concentration to achieve shipping grade.
As of December 2011, total iron ore reserves for Southern System were estimated at 4,210.1 million metric tonnes grading 47.8% iron.
Vale conducts conventional open-pit mining operations in the Southeastern System.
The Southeastern System expected mine life for its component mines are listed below:
- Itabira site: Conceicao (2025), Minas do Meio (2022);
- Minas Centrais site: Agua Limpa (2016), Gongo Soco (2022), Brucutu (2023), Apolo (2039);
- Mariana site: Alegria (2023), Fabrica Nova (2034), Fazendao (2044).
Vale generally process the run-of-mine by means of standard crushing, classification and concentration steps, producing sinter feed, lump ore and pellet feed in the beneficiation plants located at the mining sites.
Iron ore is shipped by railway to the port of Tubarao in the state of Espirito Santo. Vale owns and operates an integrated railroad and terminal networks at its three mine sites. Vale owns the EFVM railroad that stretcheds over 905 km - consists of two lines of track. The EFVM railroad has a daily capacity of 342,000 metric tons of iron ore. In 2011, the EFVM railroad carried a total of 69.3 billion ntk of iron ore and other cargo plus 1 million passangers in 2011.
In the Tubarao port area Vale operates two wholly owned pellet plants, the Tubarao I and II. It also operates four plants leased from third parties, and operates another jointly-owned plant - the Hispanobras. Southeastern System ore is processed at these facilities.
Conceicao Itabiritos: Vale plans to build a new 12 Mtpy concentration plant located in the Southeastern System. Start-up is expected for the second half of 2013.
Conceicao Itabiritos II: Vale plans to adapt plant to process 19 Mtpy low-grade itabirites, located in the Southeastern System. Start-up is expected for the second half of 2014.
In 2011, Vale produced 64% of the electric energy consumed in the Southeastern System at itsr hydroelectric power plants: Igarapava, Porto Estrela, Funil, Candonga, Aimorés, Capim Branco I and Capim Branco II.