The Brazilian government has tipped operations at the Samarco mine to resume in two months, although confidence has been tempered by part-owner BHP Billiton noting its timeline remained unchanged.
The joint venture of BHP and Brazil’s Vale has been offline since the tragic collapse of an iron ore tailings dam in Bento Rodrigues in November 2015 killed 19 people and all but wiped out several small communities.
Questions have been raised around whether Samarco would ever restart, although BHP said last month it hoped to resume mining at some stage in 2017.
Those hopes were raised overnight by comments from Brazil mines and energy minister Fernando Coelho Filho, who said a restart was “probable” in two months in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“[The mine will] get back in business having addressed all the environmental and legal problems,” he said, according to Bloomberg.
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