Anglo to halt Minas Rio in Brazil if expansion licence delayed further – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 20, 2017)

Anglo American (LON:AAL) will have to shut its massive Minas Rio in Brazil next year if authorities for the state of Minas Gerais, where the iron ore operation is located, further delay a licence needed to kick off a final and key expansion.

The miner, which has already been granted permission for a second phase at Minas Rio, has been trying for months to secure the environmental license for the mine’s third and last expansion, but has faced several roadblocks along the way.

Chief executive of Anglo American Brazil, Ruben Fernandes, told local paper Hojeemdia (in Portuguese) the permit was first expected in July this year, but ongoing requests from the state’s public prosecutor and the rescheduling of necessary public hearings have pushed the deadline to December.

He acknowledged the licensing process for a mine the magnitude of Minas Rio is especially complex due to many factors, including its size, structure and the need to build a gigantic pipeline — at 529 kilometers, the largest in the world by far. But he also said the company can’t wait forever.

If the permit is not issued next month, Fernandes said the company would keep the mine open until September 2018. “Without phase three, the mine will run out of ore; with it, it can keep producing for at least another 15 years,” he said.

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