June 19, 2019 / 12:35 PM / 5 months ago

Brazil's Vale to restore full Brucutu mine output after court ruling

FILE PHOTO: A view of the entrance of Brucutu mine owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, in Sao Goncalo do Rio Abaixo, Brazil February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Washington Alves/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Wednesday that it will fully resume operations at its Brucutu mine within 72 hours after an appeals court overturned an earlier ruling that halted processing because of concern about the safety of a nearby dam.

In a corporate filing, Vale also reaffirmed its 2019 iron ore and pellets sales guidance of 307 million to 332 million tonnes, and said that sales should be around the midpoint of that target range, up from its previously forecast low end of the range.

“The (Supreme court) decision will enable the full resumption of wet processing operations at Brucutu within 72 hours, thus increasing the average quality of Vale’s product portfolio,” the miner said.

Vale shares were up 1.1 percent in early trading in Sao Paulo, touching a two-month high and outperforming the broader benchmark Bovespa index which was down 0.2 on the day.

Brucutu was shuttered in early February at the request of prosecutors in the state of Minas Gerais after a tailings dam burst in late January in the town of Brumadinho, killing more than 240 people.

The mine has been producing iron ore at an annual rate of 10 million tonnes, or a third of its total capacity, since then using “dry processing,” which does not produce the muddy waste byproduct that traditional mining does.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Christian Plumb; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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