Vale starts Vargem Grande Complex filtration plant operation
Vale has gradually started the operation of the tailings filtration plant located at the Vargem Grande Complex, the first of four filtration plants to be operated in Vale’s sites in Minas Gerais, totaling US$ 2.3 billion in investments between 2020 and 2024.
In addition to reducing the dependence on dams, the start-up will allow an improvement in the average quality of Vale’s product portfolio with the use of wet processing on the site. In the filtration process, the existing water in the iron ore tailings is minimized, allowing most of the material to be stacked in a solid state, thus reducing dependence on dams.
Still in 2021, Vale expects to start-up the first filtration plant in the Itabira Complex. Throughout 2022, the second filtration plant at the Itabira Complex and the first at the Brucutu site will start operating. The four tailings filtration plants will serve beneficiation plants that have a total capacity to process 64 Mtpy of iron ore.
The addition of 4 Mtpy of production capacity as previously announced in the Production and Sales Report on February 3rd, 2021, will take place from the third quarter of 2021 along with the start-up of the Maravilhas III dam, which is in its final stage of construction and you will receive the slime from the plant, equivalent to approximately 30% of the total tailings generated from this operation.
The start-up of tailings’ filtration operations in Vargem Grande is another step in stabilizing iron ore production and on the way to resume the of 400 Mtpy production capacity by the end of 2022.