LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Miner Anglo American said on Monday it had received an operating licence after work to raise the height of a store for mining waste, known as tailings, that allows it to reach full capacity at its Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil.
Minas-Rio, which has been dogged by delays and waits for permits following a pipeline leak in March 2018, will produce 23 million tonnes or iron ore this year.
In December last year, Anglo American resumed production at Minas-Rio after repairs to the pipeline.
With the permit announced on Monday, the last it needs, Anglo American can complete a third phase of development that will take the mine to full capacity of 26.5 million tonnes per year.
Tailings dams, the most common waste disposal methods for mining companies, have come under intense scrutiny, especially in Brazil after a Vale tailings dam collapse in Brazil killed an estimated 300 people in January.
Anglo American said the Minas-Rio tailings dam has “a conservative and high quality design” for safety.
As miners seek to appeal to environmentally-aware investors, it also said the iron ore was high grade, which means its extraction and processing into steel produce less waste and lower greenhouse gas emissions. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis, editing by Louise Heavens)