Vale already mulling expansion of S11D iron ore operation
As detailed in a Reuters report, mining giant Vale is already looking at expanding its flagship S11D iron ore project in Brazil. Vale is hoping to cash in on a growing appetite for higher-grade varieties of the commodity in its top market China. China, the world’s biggest consumer of the steelmaking ingredient, has ramped up buying of higher-quality, less polluting grades of iron ore as it battles to clear its polluted skies.S11D is the world’s largest example of fully mobile and truckless IPCC mining technology outside of the bucketwheel miners and conveyors used in Germany’s Rheinish lignite mining region. The four systems each utilise Sandvik PF200 fully mobile crushing stations (though Sandvik’s Mining Systems business was bought by FLSmidth, which is now managing the project), each loaded by Caterpillar 7495 rope shovels.The IPCC systems are being used in the Serra Sul (S11D) block, a ridge of land 30 km long and around 1.8 km wide. Peter Poppinga, Executive Director at Vale, was quoted by Reuters at an industry conference in China that the world’s largest iron ore miner was studying expanding the S11D project in the Amazonian state of Para, even though it was still being brought up to the planned capacity after it was inaugurated in December 2016. “Given all these quality trends (that are) favourable to us, we are studying to increase the project, but there are no numbers yet,” Poppinga said.