About Vale

6/30/2014

Learn about the mines of the Central-West System in Mato Grosso do Sul

Urucum mine The Urucum mine is one of the biggest producers of manganese in Brazil

Our company is the leader in iron ore production and the second biggest producer of nickel as well as the biggest producer of manganese in Brazil and is responsible for almost 70% of the product's domestic market. Let's begin to learn about the history and the activities carried out in the Urucum and Morraria Santa Cruz mines, both located in Corumbá in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Urucum mine

Discovered during the Paraguayan War which took place between 1864 and 1870, the Urucum mine received its name because of the mineral hematite found in iron ore. When scratched on ceramic the mineral shows red streaks characteristic of urucum, a plant whose seed is used as colouring for cosmetics, tanning lotion and food.

Considered one of the exceptions in the country, the Urucum mine, which specialises in the extraction of iron ore and manganese, is one of the only ones to have two different minerals in the same mountain range. Mine production generates around 2.5 million metric tons of iron ore and around 800,000 metric tons of manganese. The product is exported to Argentina and European countries by land and water. This volume could become even bigger through underground expansion of manganese which is scheduled to happen in the next few years.

Morraria de Santa Cruz mine

The Morraria de Santa Cruz mine, better known as MCR mine, has everything to do with the region in which it is located seeing as its name refers to the mountainous relief of the flooded plains of the Pantanal. The mine, which specialises in iron ore, has high quality minerals. The material extracted, as well as having a high grade of iron, is close to the market specification: the final product is lump ore. This contributes to the reduction of energy and work costs owing to nature's role in the process.

Acquired by Vale in 2009, the mine has around 1,000 employees and is responsible for the exportation of nearly 4 million metric tons of iron ore to Argentina and Europe. With logistics that are a little more complex, transport of the product uses trucks, trains and ships to arrive at its destination. There are also studies into expansion expected in the next few years to optimise and increase production of lump ore.​

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Learn about the mines of the Central-West System in Mato Grosso do Sul