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Vale cuts Q1 2020 iron ore target on worsening operating conditions

Brazilian miner Vale has cut its first-quarter 2020 iron ore production and sales guidance, citing business and operating conditions.

Vale now expected production and sales of between 68 million-73 million mt, "due to weather-related seasonality, the gradual and safe return of operations and in line with the margin over volume strategy", the Rio de Janeiro-based company said.

Vale in November had published Q1 2020 guidance for iron ore production and sales of 70 million-75 million mt.

Vale kept unchanged iron ore and pellets sales guidance for 2019 of 307 million-312 million mt, with Q4 at 83 million-88 million mt.

Vale said it has suspended the disposal of iron ore tailings for an expected 1-2 months at a dam serving the Brucutu mine, while the company assesses the dam's "geotechnical characteristics", impacting processing at the major high-grade ore mine.

"During the shutdown, the dam will have the Level 1 emergency protocol adopted, which does not require the evacuation of the downstream population, according to the National Mining Agency (ANM)," Vale said.

"During the period of stoppage of tailings disposal, estimated at one and two months, the Brucutu plant will operate with around 40% of its capacity through wet processing with tailings filtration and dry stacking, being the impact of the temporary halting estimated at 1.5 million mt of iron ore per month, approximately," Vale said.

Source: S&P Platts

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