Processing based on natural moisture
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Processing based on natural moisture

Processing based on natural moisture

It is likely this has never occurred to many people, but water is one of the natural resources that is used the most in mining. For this reason, Vale develops technologies and processes to reduce the use and reuse of this precious natural resource.

Check out where water resources are used in mining:


From mineral to ore

de mineral a minério

How? Using cutting-edge technology


In 2008, waterless processing at
6% of the plant

Beneficiamento sem uso de água em 6% da planta

Vale has developed a revolutionary technique for processing iron ore in regions of high rainfall, which does not use water in the process. This technique avoids the need to build tailings dams, reducing impact on the environment. Called natural moisture or dry processing, it was put into practice, in 2008, on a trial basis at Carajás, Pará.

Check out how this technology reduces water consumption

processing using water

moisture ore processing

This process, necessary to process ore with high impurity contents, uses water in various stages
to remove impurities
from the mineral.
It is used in regions where iron content is low.

In addition
to the crushers
and screens, several pieces of equipment
are used to separate
the ore, such as filters, pumps, thickeners, magnetic separators, flotation columns...

This process generates the so-called "waste," ultrathin ore waste
that remains mixed
in the water.

The ore extracted
at Carajás is rich
in iron ore, an essential
factor for the dry
processing process.

Although it took many years of research to come up with, the technique
is simple: even if the ore
is damp or soaked due
to the rains common in the region. The increased acceleration in screening makes it possible to separate
the products efficiently.

As water is not used in separation,
waste in the form of ultrafine ore
slurry is not generated.

100% of the ore
is recovered and can now
be processed at greater granulations. Besides saving water,
this also decreases
power consumption.

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Heavy duty machines

Máquinas peso pesado

Breaking huge blocks of earth requires the use of high-powered machines. Without the use of water, the work in fragmenting and segregating the rocks became even more challenging.

Máquinas peso pesado

As a result, these heavy machines were reinforced and adapted to working conditions, leading to high operational reliability.

The result: natural resource preservation