Brazil’s Council on Environmental Policy awarded Anglo American the environmental operating license for its Minas-Rio iron ore mine and beneficiation plant on September 29. The Minas-Rio project includes open-pit mines and a beneficiation plant in Minas Gerais state that will produce a 68% iron, low-contaminant pellet plant feed. The beneficiated product will be transported through a 525-km slurry pipeline to the port of Açu.

Paulo Castellari, CEO of Anglo American’s Iron Ore Brazil business, said, “Receiving the environmental operating license for the Minas-Rio mine and beneficiation plant represents yet another important milestone toward the completion of the 26.5-million-mt/y Minas-Rio project. We remain on schedule to achieve first ore on ship by the end of 2014 and are focused on completing the final safety, administrative, commissioning and engineering works to deliver the project.”

Minas-Rio has a current total resource of 5.7 billion mt, inclusive of a reserve of 1.45 billion mt. Mine life is planned at 28 years. Project capital expenditures are estimated at $8.8 billion.
Anglo American expects Minas-Rio to produce between 11 million and 15 million mt in 2015, with production rising to design capacity of 26.5 million mt/y sometime in 2016.