SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian miners including
Vale SA are resuming production in the southeastern
state of Minas Gerais after halting some operations due to heavy
rains that disrupted logistics and increased the risk of
Vale said in a securities filing on Monday that the Brucutu
and Mariana mines were gradually ramping up production as part
of its Vitoria-Minas railway was cleared, allowing iron ore to
Vale said the stoppages affected production of about 1.5
million tonnes of iron ore. Still, the company reaffirmed its
iron ore production guidance for 2022 at 320-335 million tonnes.
Vale said the Aboboras, Vargem Grande, Fabrica and Viga
sites also were gradually resuming production.
On Saturday, steelmaker Usiminas announced it was
slowly restarting production at its Mineracao Usiminas (MUSA)
mining subsidiary. Samarco, a joint venture between
Vale and BHP , told Reuters it too had resumed
production last week as rains subsided.
Anglo American's Minas-Rio system operated normally
during the rainy season, the company said in a statement. Its
dam and dikes at the mine remain secure and are permanently
monitored, it added.
Steel maker CSN, which shut down CSN Mineracao's
Casa de Pedra mine, said it has partially resumed
operation there, and ore loading at the port of Itaguai, in Rio
de Janeiro, has restarted.
The company said it was still monitoring the dams at Casa de
Pedra and is repairing damage caused by the rain, stressing that
no anomalies have been detected and structures remain safe and
France's Vallourec, which paused its Pau Branco
mine after the showers caused a dike to overflow, said on Monday
its operations were still halted. Newspaper Valor Economico
reported the company was in talks with authorities to resume
operations and settle financial penalties.
Vale said two structures in Minas Gerais remained on alert
due to the rains. The Area IX dam, a currently inactive upstream
asset, had its alert level raised to 2 from 1, meaning more
containment measures are needed to avoid a collapse. The
Elefante dike is at alert level 1, which means its overall
stability is not compromised.
"The company has already initiated studies and corrective
actions ... There is no permanent occupation of people in the
corresponding zones and no additional evacuation is required,"
In addition to heavy rainfall in southeastern Brazil last
Monday, downpours also caused deadly floods in the northeast and
threatened to delay harvests in the midwest.
(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo and Ana Mano in Sao Paulo;
Additional reporting by Marta Nogueira, Carolina Pulice and
Peter Frontini; Editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan, Bill
Berkrot and David Gregorio)