Vale maintains iron ore guidance after Itabira mine closure

Monday, 08 June 2020 12:54:18 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Brazilian iron ore producer Vale has said in a press release that it has suspended operations at its Conceiçao, Caue and Periquito mines at its Itabira complex which has a 36 million mt per year capacity, located in the state of Minas Gerais, after a Brazilian court ordered the closure of three mines operated by the company due to coronavirus concerns.

Prosecutors had claimed that coronavirus tests of 188 employees at the Itabira complex came out positive, while Vale did not comment relating to the matter. The company faces a daily fine to the amount of BRL 500,000 ($100,800).

Vale stated that it has been carrying out many actions in order to prevent and ease the effects of the coronavirus in compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols since the beginning of the pandemic.

Besides, Vale said it has not changed its 2020 iron ore fines output guidance of 310-330 million mt after the court decision. "Considering the expected monthly production of 2.7 million mt from the Itabira complex for the coming months and the provisioning of up to 15 million mt of losses associated with Covid-19 in 2020, there is no need, at this moment, to revise the guidance," Vale said. However, there may be a temporary shortage of pellets for the domestic market during the Itabira Complex shutdown as the complex provides pellet feed for the Tubarão complex.

Minas Gerais court had previously ordered the halt of operations at the Itabira site in late May but then Vale won an injunction allowing it to reopen the mine complex, as previously reported by SteelOrbis.

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