Iron ore markets digest impact of Vale tailings dam disaster

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Here, Jun Kai Heng looks at how iron ore buyers and sellers are adapting to tightened supply of specific products, following the accident at one of Vale’s Brazilian operations in January. On January 25, a Vale tailings dam in Brumadinho, part of its Southern Systems mining operations, collapsed, resulting in  massive loss of life and a significant impact on its iron ore supply chain over the longer term. The company declared force majeure in the first week of February on a range of iron ore qualities after Minas Gerais state authorities ordered a production halt at Vale’s 30 million metric ton/year Brucutu mine, alleging safety concerns. Vale later noted that maintaining supplies to the domestic market was its priority, and that it was giving preference to contractual commitments over spot market sales. Initial concern from market participants was related to Vale’s production of its medium grade fines, including the flagship Brazilian Blend fines (BRBF) as well as Standard Sinter Feed Guaiba (SSFG), given their reliance on Southern System fines for blending with high… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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