Anglo American will ramp its Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil to full capacity following the award of a key licence for the use of an expanded tailings dam.
The regulatory authorities in Brazil granted the installation licence for work to raise the dam as part of the Step 4 licence area of the mine in January 2018. The construction work was completed in accordance with that licence in August 2019.
Seamus French, CEO of Bulk Commodities at Anglo American, commented: “This is an important milestone for our Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil towards reaching its full potential.
Minas-Rio has a long asset life of 48 years and produces a high grade, premium quality product for our customers, supporting lower emissions in the steel industry. We expect Minas-Rio to produce 23 million tonnes in 2019, with an FOB unit cost of $24 per tonne.”
The Minas-Rio tailings dam uses a downstream construction design and is an embankment dam structure, built using compacted imported earth-fill material, with carefully selected granular materials for the drainage and filter zones. Tailings are not used to build the dam, and instead construction materials are placed in controlled layers. This is a conservative and high-quality design for a tailings dam, being designed and built as a water-retaining type of dam.