Samarco’s product is iron ore pellets, small agglomerations made from ultrafine iron particles generated from the beneficiation of ore. Pelletizing is the process of compression or molding of such particles, which results in a spherical product ranging from 8 to 18 mm.
The pellets are mainly used for fueling the blast furnaces in steel mills. Due to a higher ore concentration, the pellets’ physical / chemical properties make the process more efficient. From the pellets, steel is produced, which will be used in the construction of bridges, airplanes, houses, electronic products, etc.
During the production or refinement of the pellets, constant tests are performed before the material reaches the market, thus guaranteeing better performance and stability. In addition, Samarco has an integrated production process, from the mine to the port, which guarantees the Company high production efficiency and low operating costs.
Samarco also has its own sales network in Brazil and abroad, with an institutional policy that ensures a direct distribution of the product between commercial offices and companies, without the participation of third parties.
Samarco wants to resume operation in a different way, without a tailings dam and after the implementation of the tailings disposal and treatment system, which includes the Alegria Sul Pit and dry stack filtration. In addition, to resume operations, the company needs the Corrective Operational Licensing (“LOC”) of the Germano Complex, located in Mariana and Ouro Preto (MG).
In October 2016, the environmental licenses of the Germano Complex (MG) were suspended. In order for them become effective again and for Samarco to be able to resume its operations in the future, the company was required by the State Secretariat for Environment and Sustainable Development (SEMAD) to develop a Corrective Operating Licensing (LOC) process.
The LOC process was scheduled for a vote by the Chamber of Mining Activities (CMI) of the State Council for Environmental Policy (COPAM), at its regular meeting on October 25, when Samarco’s Corrective Operating License was approved, which has had the participation of several players, such as civil society, government authorities and regulatory bodies.