Brazilian miner Vale has partially halted operations at its Southeastern and Southern iron ore systems due to the heavy rains in the state of Minas Gerais.
At the Southeastern system, train circulation at its Vitoria-Minas railway was partially interrupted following the rains, which led to output being halted at the Brucutu mine and the Mariana complex as it was unable to transport iron ore.
Vale said it also had to suspend production at all of its complexes at the Southern system, as key highways BR-040 and MG-030 were interdicted.
Meanwhile, Vale’s Northern System is still operating as planned, and it reiterated its 2022 iron ore production guidance of 320-335m tonnes.
The extent of the operations halted is huge, representing a large chunk of Brazilian iron ore output, Arrow Research pointed out on Monday. “The big question is how long will this last? If this is just a temporary logistics issue spanning a couple of days, then Vale would be right to reiterate their guidance. However, if it is more of a safety precaution regarding the high rainfall, then this might be a continuing problem over Q1.”
The miner said it continues to monitor the rainfall scenario in Minas Gerais and its dams 24 hours a day. It noted that there was no change in the emergency level in any of its structures.