Vale’s iron ore reserves decrease in 2021

Brazilian miner Vale’s total iron ore reserves fell by 13.4% year-on-year to 12.495 billion tonnes in 2021, the company says on its form F-20 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission monitored by Kallanish.

According to Vale, the 1.927 billion tonne variation in iron ore reserves compared to 2020 reflects the new geological data, study and technology developments, economic assumptions, mining plans and regulatory updates, among other factors. From total iron ore reserves, proven represented 3.858 billion tonnes at 58.5% Fe-grade content on average, or 55.3% less compared to the 8.636 billion tonnes in 2020.

“Variations in iron ore reserves resulted primarily by the depletion resulting from mineral production at operating mines corresponding to approximately 414 million tonnes of iron ore, downgrades resulting from strategic review of long-term projects and geotechnical, market and processing factors,” Vale explains.

The Northern System, which accounted for almost 48.9% of Vale’s total iron ore reserves in 2021, saw these reduced by 4.5% on-year to 6.11 billion tonnes. The decrease is mainly explained by the incorporation of new geological information and depletion of material at the Serra Sul`s S11D unit and of Serra Norte Complex by 3.5% and 7.4%, respectively.

Vale’s reserves at the Southern System amounted to 3.63 billion tonnes or just 1.1% less over 2020, while those at the Southeastern System decreased by 36.7% on-year to 2.74 billion tonnes. This was due to a review of a long-term project to process low grade material from the Mariana operations “considering new technical solutions, including ceasing the transfer of run of mine from the site to the Itabira beneficiation plants,” Vale comments. As a result, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of previously reported reserves have been reclassified as resources, the miner observes.

The miner adds that, as a result of mine scheduling and production plan reviews, the estimated exhaustion of Itabira Complex has been extended up to 2041.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria