Anglo American plc has suspended Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil.
The company said the suspension took with effect on Thursday 29 March, in order to conduct a full inspection of the pipeline that carries iron ore, in slurry form, from the mine to the export terminal.
Minas-Rio took the decision to suspend the operation following a minor leak that was identified in the pipeline at approximately 7pm on 29 March. This leak of non-hazardous iron ore slurry was stopped within eight minutes and caused no disruption to local water supply. It occurred in close proximity to a similar leak on 12 March, near a pumping station. There were no injuries.
Specialised technical equipment will now be used to identify any other areas of potential weakness within the pipeline. Due to the length of the pipeline and the priority of ensuring the protection of the natural environment, the current expectation is that it will take approximately 90 days for the full inspection to be completed during which time operations at Minas-Rio will remain suspended.
Minas-Rio is working closely with its employees and unions and all the relevant authorities in Brazil, both locally and nationally, and Anglo American’s Marketing business is engaging with its customers in relation to product delivery schedules.