Anglo halts output at Minas-Rio after slurry pipeline rupture

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

UK commodities giant Anglo American decided to halt output at its Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil after its 525km slurry pipeline ruptured on Monday.

The pipeline runs from the firm's beneficiation plant in Minas Gerais state to Rio de Janeiro's Açu port.

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In a press statement for BNamericas, Anglo said its current priority is to ensure measures to control and mitigate socio-environmental impacts.

"With regard to iron ore production of Minas-Rio, there was a stoppage of all activities in [the municipality of] Conceição do Mato Dentro until the causes of the accident are clarified," the company said.

According to Anglo, water supply is being guaranteed by the company through tanker trucks as an emergency measure.

"It is important to reiterate that the leak was iron ore pulp, which is composed of 70% iron ore and 30% water, and classified by ... Brazil's standards institute ABNT as a non-hazardous waste. There were no casualties."

Information on the volume of leaked material is being determined, the company said.

Anglo said it has already made available all the machinery needed to reinforce emergency response measures.

MINAS-RIO

In late-January, Anglo successfully arranged a long-awaited expansion license to go ahead with phase 3 of Minas-Rio.

With the license, Anglo gained access to the full range of run-of-mine grades to reach nameplate capacity of 26.5Mt per year and now seeks to invest US$330mn in the third phase.

The resources group has invested US$15bn over the last few years in the project, the largest mining investment in the world during the period.

Minas-Rio complex comprises an open pit mine, a beneficiation plant producing high-grade pellet feed, a slurry pipeline running through 32 municipalities in Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states, and an iron ore terminal at Açu port.