Vale to Turn Amazon Mining Waste Into High-Grade Iron Ore to Feed Steelmaking – by Mariana Durao (Bloomberg News – March 2, 2023)

Bloomberg) — Metals producer Vale SA is turning 37 years worth of mining waste at an iron ore complex in the Amazon into high-quality material to be used in steel production.

The company has started extracting scrap that had been dumped at a tailings dam at Carajas in northern Brazil since 1985 as part of a project at its largest iron ore operation.

The material, which is rich in iron ore particles, will be processed into feed for a plant that makes pellets to be used in blast furnaces for steelmaking. The $485-million Gelado project will have an initial production capacity of 5 million tons a year.

The investment fits in Vale’s strategy of shifting toward higher-quality ore that requires less energy to process as the steel industry looks for alternatives to cut emissions. The world’s No. 2 iron ore producer said it wants to lead the supply of cleaner materials to its customers to capture higher premiums and achieve the target of cutting emissions from its suppliers and clients 15% by 2035.

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