|Commodity||Iron Ore, Manganese|
Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
|Owners||Vale S.A. - 100%|
|Operator||Urucum Mineracao S.A.|
Iron Ore - 1.5 Mt
|Deposit Type||Banded iron formations (BIF)|
|Reserves & Resources||
Iron ore - 34.9 Mt @ 62.2% iron (proven &
probable, Dec. 2011)
|Mine Type||Surface & Underground|
|Mining Method||Open pit & Bulk mining methods|
|Processing Method||Crushing, classifying|
|Mine Life||To 2020 (manganese) & 2029 (iron ore)|
|Mining Equipment||Truck & shovel; drills|
|Processing Equipment||Crushers, classifiers|
Urucum Mineracao S/A
Last updated: August 10, 2012
Situated in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the facility consists of an iron ore open pit mining operation, an underground manganese mine and a processing plant. The ore has high manganese content (at least 40%).
The iron ore open pit commenced production in 1994 and its projected exhaustion date is 2029. The underground mine has been operating since 1976 and its mine life extends to 2020.
Urucum production is transported by river to the port of San Nicholas (Argentina) or by 1,700 kilometres of railroad to the port of Santos. Its installed manganese production capacity is approximately 500,000 tons a year.
The property is located 27 kilometres south of Corumba in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Mato Grosso do Sul is located in the southwest of the country and is bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn therefore it has a warm and humid climate. Agriculture, cattle raising, tourism and mining are its economic mainstays.
The Neoproterozoic iron and manganese deposits of Urucum are associated with banded iron formations (BIFs). The deposition of the iron and manganese rich rocks took place in a glacio-marine environment. All rocks had been subsequently weathered and supergene enriched.
The manganese deposit is sedimentary, with deposition of manganese oxides primary as siliceous manganese horizons. The ore is mostly cryptomelane and pyrolusite. Manganese ore has an average of 45% iron.
As of December 2011, proven and probable reserves were estimated at 34.9 million tonnes iron ore at 62.2% iron content; and, 6.2 million tonnes manganese ore at 45.13% manganese.
For iron ore, the mine is an open-pit. Manganese is mined by underground mining methods.
Logistic facilities at the site of the Urucum mine are not owned by Vale S.A.
Generally run-of-mine ore is processed by means of standard crushing and classification, producing only lump ore.
Urucum production is transported by river to the port of San Nicholas (Argentina) or by 1,700 kilometres of railroad to the port of Santos. Barges travel down the Paraguay and Parana rivers.
Urucum's installed manganese production capacity is approximately 500,000 tons a year. The principal characteristics of its product are: high manganese content (at least 40%); low level of impurities; and high resistance.
The mine obtains electrical power at market prices from regional electric utilities.
Environmental issues had been raised several times since the opening of the mine but they had been always promptly solved by Vale.