Vale concludes another S11D iron ore cargo test

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale has completed another cargo-handling test at pier IV (pictured) of the Ponta da Madeira port terminal in Maranhão state.

Pier IV is part of Vale's US$14.4bn flagship S11D iron ore project, currently being commissioned.

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This time, 160,000t of iron ore was loaded onto the capesize vessel Cape Asia from the pier's north berth, Vale said in a release on Tuesday.

Cape Asia is en route to customers in India.

The terminal is close to being able to load two of the company's 400,000t very large ore carriers, or VLOCs as they are known (pictured), simultaneously. Pier IV increases the Ponta da Madeira port terminal's handling capacity to 230Mt/y from 150Mt/y.

"We will conduct two more cargo-handling tests during October before the north berth starts operating," Vale' S11D projects leader, Jorge Candreva, said.

The first cargo-handling test was conducted last month.

The S11D project entered the testing phase in January, when its 9.5km conveyor was switched on.

On September 6, Vale said S11D was nearly 95% complete.

The project was originally due to be completed in December 2014 but the latest estimates indicate that it will be fully ready by the end of this year. The original cost estimate was US$11.5bn, according to the project's risk overview produced by BNamericas.

S11D involves the construction of an open pit mine with capacity to produce 90Mt/y of iron ore. The project is expected to have low operational costs and produce high-quality ore.