Anglo American expects to obtain permit for Minas-Rio mine by June 2019

SAO PAULO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Miner Anglo American Plc expects to obtain licenses to expand its Minas-Rio multibillion-dollar iron ore mine in Brazil by June next year, the company’s CEO for Brazil Ruben Fernandes told Reuters on Wednesday.

Minas-Rio is Anglo American’s biggest development project, but it is still in ramp-up phase. The company aims at hitting a 26.5 million-tonne production target by 2020 with this project.

Fernandes also reinforced that Anglo American expects its pipeline to resume operations only in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Minas-Rio production has been hampered by leaks in the more than 500-km pipeline in March. Anglo American declared force majeure to suspend a nearly billion dollar contract with Bahrain Steel to supply it with iron ore.

The company will submit the license request in the second half of 2018. (Reporting by José Roberto Gomes Writing by Carolina Mandl Editing by Chris Reese)