Diversified major Anglo American has resumed operations at its Minas-Rio iron-ore operation, in Brazil, following a technical inspection of the pipeline that carries the iron-ore in slurry form from the mine to the port.
Production at the mines was suspended in March, after leaks were discovered in the 529 km pipeline.
The operation will ramp up to 1.2-million tonnes a month, producing about 16-million tonnes to 19-million tonnes (wet basis) of iron-ore in 2019, Anglo reported on Friday.
The shutdown will result in Minas-Rio posting an underlying loss of $320-million this year, in line with a previous guidance of an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation loss of $300-million to $400-million.
Anglo said it had replaced a 4 km stretch of pipeline where two leaks of non-hazardous material had occurred, as well as a small number of individual sections of pipe where the specialist pipeline inspection (PIG) devices detected minor anomalies below the normal threshold for intervention.
The miner also shortened the intervals for future inspections by PIGs from five years to two years, while fitting a fibre-optic system of acoustic, temperature and vibration sensors along critical sections of the pipeline to monitor its performance.
"The extensive analysis confirmed the sound condition of the pipeline and we have taken a number of preventative measures to provide additional reassurance for the long term," commented CEO Mark Cutifani.