RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Miner Anglo American <AAL.L> expects a pipeline that connects its troubled Minas Rio mine to the Brazilian port of Acu to be ready to receive iron ore from that project by the end of the month, according to a notice seen by Reuters.
The company halted production at the mine after two leaks in March in the pipeline, which channels slurry more than 500 km (310 miles) from Minas Gerais state to the port in Rio de Janeiro state.
“It is currently AAMFB’s expectation to reach the operation readiness of the pipeline, including all the necessary authorization from the Public Authorities, by the end of November,” according to the notice, sent to an Anglo service provider and signed by an executive at Anglo’s Brazilian subsidiary Anglo American Minerio de Ferro Brasil (AAMFB).
Resuming operations “is still subject to a number of conditions,” the notice said. Reuters could not verify when the notice was sent.
Asked for comment, Brazilian environmental regulator Ibama said it has not yet received a report on Anglo’s inspections of the pipeline that it will need to sign off on before operations can resume.
A spokesman for Anglo American said he could not comment beyond the company’s previous statement that it was ready for a restart in the fourth quarter. Anglo’s Brazil country manager, Ruben Fernandes, told Reuters last month that Minas Rio should restart operations in November or December.
Purchased at the height of the commodities boom a decade ago for $5.5 billion (4.18 billion pounds), the long-delayed, costly mine is Anglo American’s biggest development project.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Additional reporting by Barbara Lewis in London; Editing by Susan Thomas)