Anglo American has received the final operating license to boost the iron ore production to full capacity at its Minas Rio mine in Brazil. The license allows the company to produce 26.5mn tonnes (26.5mn mt) per year.
The miner will produce 23mn tonnes of iron ore in 2019 with a fob unit cost of $24 per tonne, up from 16mn-19mn tonnes that the company estimated in December 2018.
Operations at Minas Rio were suspended in March 2018 following a leak in a pipeline that carries ore from the mine to the export terminal. The company restarted the mine in December 2018 after pre-emptively replacing a 4km stretch of the pipeline where the two leaks of non-hazardous material had occurred, as well as technical inspection of the 529km pipeline that carries the iron ore in slurry form from the mine to the port.
Anglo American indicated that 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, the company added in a statement.