SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Samarco is planning to restart operations in late December, the company said on Friday, five years after a dam burst killed 19 people and resulted in Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster.
Samarco Mineracao SA, a joint venture between BHP Group and Vale SA, said it had begun the commissioning process at the Germano Complex in the town of Mariana, starting with the ramp-up of two concentrating plants and a new plant to filter waste from mining activities.
Production operations should begin in earnest in the second half of December at its Ubu Complex, where the company produces iron ore pellets, it said in a statement.
The company initially expects to operate at 26% of capacity, which is 30.5 million tonnes of iron ore pellets annually, it said in a separate statement given to Reuters.
Samarco has been subject to extensive litigation in the years since the November 2015 disaster. In January 2019, a nearby dam in Brumadinho that was wholly owned by Vale also burst, killing 270.
Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bill Berkrot
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.