Anglo American receives Minas-Rio tailings approval

Anglo American says it has received an important licence for the tailings facility at its Minas-Rio iron ore mine, in Brazil, that will help the long life operation reach its full potential.

The company received the next phase of its operating licence for the facility following the work to raise the dam as part of the Step 3 licence area of the mine. The regulatory authorities in Brazil granted the installation licence for this work in January 2018 and the construction work was completed in accordance with that licence in August 2019, Anglo said.

Seamus French, CEO of Bulk Commodities at Anglo American, said: “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.”

He added: “We expect Minas-Rio to produce 23 Mt in 2019, with an FOB unit cost of circa-$24/t.”

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, Anglo explained. 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,” the company said.