23 December 2020
Samarco Mineração S.A. (Samarco) has met the licensing requirements to restart operations at its Germano complex in Minas Gerais and its Ubu complex in Espírito Santo, Brazil, and has commenced iron ore pellet production.
Samarco’s operations were suspended following the failure of the Fundão dam on 5 November 2015.
Samarco’s gradual restart of operations incorporates concentrator 3 at the Germano complex and pelletising plant 4 at Ubu, as well as a new system of tailings disposal combining a confined pit and tailings filtering system for dry stacking.
Independent tests have been carried out on Samarco’s preparations for a safe restart of operations. Samarco expects initially to produce approximately eight million tonnes of iron ore pellets per annum.
The extensive work undertaken by the Renova Foundation (Renova) to remediate and compensate for the damages of the failure of the Fundão dam in 2015 continues, and BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. continues to support Renova in its work. By November 2020, Renova had spent approximately BRL 10.7 billion (approximately US$2.1 billion) on its remediation and compensation programs. By November 2020, approximately BRL 3.1 billion (approximately US$620 million) had been paid in indemnities and emergency financial aid to approximately 325,000 people.
BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. and Vale S.A. each hold a 50 per cent interest in Samarco.