December 2022
Brazil is expected to produce a total of 373Mt of iron ore in 2022, down 4.8% year on year, primarily due to bad weather seen during the March Quarter. Production will grow significantly to 536Mt in 2040.

Brazil is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050. The country has pledged to reduce total net emissions by 37% by 2025 and up to 43% until 2030, compared with 2015 levels. However, the Brazilian government emphasized that it need US$1b annually in foreign aid for Brazil's environmental enforcement efforts.




Vale’s iron ore production guidance for 2022 was revised from 320–335Mt to 310-320Mt. Vale expects to ramp up its production capacity 370Mtpa in 2022, and to reach 400–450Mtpa in the medium to long term.

Future capacity expansion will primarily be driven by the production of DSO products—such as those from the S11D 100Mtpa project post-2022—at the Carajas complex in northern Brazil, and by the Serra Sul 120 project, which will involve increasing the capacity of the current mine to 120Mt by 2024. This will reduce the importance of production in southern Brazil, which is reliant on beneficiated iron ore products, with its requirement for tailings disposal.

Vale also plans to invest US$400m across 2022 to eliminate five tailing dams in Brazil. It has already removed seven tailing dams, for a total cost of US$857m, since the dam elimination program began in 2018. The US$4bn program is aiming to remove a total of 30 existing structures by 2035, due to safety concerns. In 2019, the collapse of a tailings dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho killed 270 people.

Pelletising represents ~30% of Vale’s GHG emissions, ahead of mining and rail transport. The company plans to invest US$4-6bn to reduce its carbon emissions by 33% by 2030. Vale has linked with natural gas supplier Eneva and distributor Gasmar which will supply natural gas to its São Luís pellet plant in Maranhão from 2024.



Brazilian steelmaker CSN has announced that it will invest BRL12bn (US$2.1bn) between 2022 and 2026 on phase 1 of a project intended to expand its captive iron ore production as well as purchases from third parties by 33Mtpa to 69Mtpa. The phase 1 plan includes the expansion of the company's central iron ore plant, the reconditioning of a tailings dam, and the expansion of the company's Tecar terminal.

Phase 2 of the project will expand the company's iron ore capacity to 104Mtpa by 2031, making the company the fifth-largest iron ore producer in the world. Ultimately, CSN plans to achieve iron ore capacity of 116Mtpa from 2032 onwards. The company has maintained its 2022 production and purchase guidance at 39-41Mt all year.


Sul Americana de Metals

Sul Americana de Metais (SAM), a subsidiary of Chinese miner Honbridge Holdings, has received approval from Brazil's Mining Agency (ANM) for its US$2.1bn Projeto Bloco Oito iron ore project in Minas Gerais. The output capacity for the project is expected to be 27.5Mtpa of iron ore concentrate with 66.2% Fe content, converted from low grade ROM ore, with an Fe content of 20%.

The project will also include a waste dam based on centre line technology, which lowers the risks of massive accidents, such as those experienced by the Brumadinho and Mariana dams. The company said that it will take further steps to obtain all licenses and develop basic engineering for the project.


Anglo American

Diversified miner Anglo American has signed an agreement with the state of Minas Gerais, to invest up to BRL4.4bn (U$800m) in local operations by 2025. Most of the investment will be put into the Minas-Rio iron ore mine, where the company plans to upgrade the mine’s technology and undertake the construction work necessary for future expansions.

The Minas-Rio expansion project includes a 529km pellet feed slurry pipeline. Anglo American expects the mine to reach capacity of 26.5Mtpa by the end of 2022. The company also updated its iron ore production guidance for Brazil in 2021 to 23Mt, down from a previous estimate of 24Mt.

Anglo American has also indicated that its 2022 iron ore output from Minas-Rio will come to 24-26Mt. The company's guidance for its iron ore production from Minas-Rio is expected to be 25-27Mt in 2023 and 26-28Mt in 2024.


Samarco Mineracao

Brazillian miner Samarco Mineracao has received approval from environment counsel, Copam, to expand its Alegria Norte and Algeria Sul mines in the state of Minas Gerais. Samacro said it will gradually expand production, while reducing the company's environmental impact.

In 2015, a dam collapse happened at the Samarco mine complex, resulting in the deaths of 19 people and the release of toxic waste into the Doce River, which flowed into the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, Samacro's mines are operating at 26% of production capacity. The company expects operations to return to full capacity of 22-24Mtpa in 2029.


Eurasian Resources Group

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) plans to expand its BAMIN operation in Brazil from the current 1Mtpa to 26Mtpa of iron ore within three and half years. Of this, 10Mtpa will be high-quality hematite direct-shipping iron ore (DSO) with an average Fe content of 65%, and 15-16Mtpa will be high-grade concentrate and pellet feed with an average Fe content of 67-68%.

The new schedule comes after ERG's successful bid for Brazil's East-West Integration (FIOL) railway last year, which will support the project to achieve higher rates at lower cost.

The cost of BAMIN will be ~US$20/t after FIOL is completed. The company said it expects to bring on stream its stretch of the FIOL railway essential for ore shipments in 2026, allowing shipment of around 16Mt of concentrates in 2026 and then 25–26Mt, including of direct shipping ore, in 2027, mainly into Europe and the Far East.

Construction of the 537km FIOL is 75% complete and will be fully completed within 18 months. The cost of BAMIN will be ~US$20/t after FIOL is completed. The company said that some European steel mills have shown interest in BAMIN’s product, while the planned DRI pellet feed has attracted interest from some Middle Eastern steelmakers.

When the production target is reached, BAMIN 's output will be roughly that of Anglo American's Minas-Rio in Minas Gerais state, making it the third-largest iron ore producer in Brazil after Vale and CSN.