Cauê Mine
Internal error

Cauê Mine

 

 Content Editor

 

Cauê Mine

Itabira − shiny stone in Tupi is Vale′s birthplace. Our company was born and took its first steps in Minas Gerais. Cauê mountain in Itabira is known for the way it shines so intensely; it looks like it′s lit up especially on moonlit nights. At the end of the 19th century, when the gold rush in Minas Gerais was already in decline, this shine caught people′s attention. That was how the largest deposit of iron ore in the world at the time was discovered.

The mountain′s glow was a result of hematite, a mineral with a metallic glow and a reddish hue when powdered. At the beginning of the 20th century, a few foreign mining companies arrived on the site.

With the creation of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, as it was known then, in 1942, Cauê mine began to be operated by our company. Rich in iron ore and hematite, there was little work and no beneficiation process involved, but a lot of manual effort to extract and transport it.

Cauê Mountain

Hematite

Mineral with a metallic shine

The name comes from the Greek haimatites, such as blood, thanks to its reddish hue when powdered

Chemical formula: Fe2O3 − Iron oxide II

This is the main component of iron ore

Coloration can vary between black, grey, brown, reddish brown, and red

The first block of stone was removed by Vale in 1944, at an height of 1370 meters. It has signaled the start of a project that would go beyond this mine and started to define the history of mining in Brazil.

Waves of Mining

1st

For a long time, shovels, hoes and picks reigned supreme and characterized the first wave of ore. The first transport equipment arrived in 1944, and the first mechanized structure began operating in 1951. That was the first wave of ore.

2nd

From the 1970s onwards, with logistical integration in place, the second wave was defined by the development of new technologies capable of maintaining the high levels of quality and grade of iron in the product. During this period, the first and second concentration plants in Itabira, Cauê, and Conceição complex began operating.

3rd

From 2013 onwards, began with the operation of Conceição II plant. Cauê and Conceição I plants were adapted to get the best out of compact itabirite with a low grade of iron.

1st

For a long time, shovels, hoes and picks reigned supreme and characterized the first wave of ore. The first transport equipment arrived in 1944, and the first mechanized structure began operating in 1951. That was the first wave of ore.

2nd

From the 1970s onwards, with logistical integration in place, the second wave was defined by the development of new technologies capable of maintaining the high levels of quality and grade of iron in the product. During this period, the first and second concentration plants in Itabira, Cauê, and Conceição complex began operating.

3rd

From 2013 onwards, began with the operation of Conceição II plant. Cauê and Conceição I plants were adapted to get the best out of compact itabirite with a low grade of iron.

Itabira Complex Today

In 2016, a new productive cycle is consolidated, recording expected results. Projects are finished before the deadline and within the expected budget, in addition to the final production of one of the best pellet feeds of fine ore in the world measuring less than 0.15 mm



Today, Itabira complex consists of two large mines, Conceiçã and Cauê, which is already under the environmental recovery process. In addition to Meio mines, made up of Periquito, Dois Córregos, Onça, Camarinha, and Chacrinha mines

Do you want to know more about this story?

So many moments of triumph show that, generations ago at Itabira, Vale built a modern, safe, and sustainable mining company. If you′re interested in the story of mining in Brazil and want to read testimonies from those who played a part in it, you will enjoy the book Memória da tecnologia da mineração em Itabira (History of Mining Technology in Itabira). Find more tips here.

Livro

History of Mining Technology in Itabira

From hematite to compact itabirite

Get it here, in Portuguese
Livro

Seventy years of Vale

Our history

Read here, in Portuguese.