Vale has gradually started the operation of the tailings filtration plant located at the Vargem Grande Complex, the first of four filtration plants to be operated in Vale's sites in Minas Gerais, totalling US$2.3 billion in investments between 2020 and 2024. In addition to reducing the dependence on dams, the start-up will allow an improvement in the average quality of Vale's product portfolio with the use of wet processing on the site.
In the filtration process, the existing water in the iron ore tailings is minimised, allowing most of the material to be stacked in a solid state, thus reducing dependence on dams. Still in 2021, Vale expects to start-up the first filtration plant in the Itabira Complex. Throughout 2022, the second filtration plant at the Itabira Complex and the first at the Brucutu site will start operating. The four tailings filtration plants will serve beneficiation plants that have a total capacity to process 64 million tpy of iron ore.
The addition of 4 million tpy of production capacity, as previously announced in the production and sales report on 3 February 2021, will take place from 3Q21 along with the start-up of the Maravilhas III dam, which is in its final stage of construction and will receive the slime from the plant, equivalent to approximately 30% of the total tailings generated from this operation.
The start-up of tailings' filtration operations in Vargem Grande is another step in stabilising iron ore production and on the way to resume a 400 million tpy production capacity by the end of 2022.
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/environment-sustainability/21042021/vale-starts-vargem-grande-complex-filtration-plant-operation/