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Brazilian court allows Vale to resume operations at Brucutu iron ore mine

A Brazilian court allowed Vale SA to resume operations at its Brucutu iron ore mine and the Laranjeiras tailings dam in Minas Gerais state after production from the mine was halted and the dam's licenses were canceled in February.

The mining major said March 19 that the operation remains halted pending approval from Brazilian environmental regulators Environment and Sustainable Development, or SEMAD.

Brucutu is Vale's largest mine in the state and has a yearly capacity of 30 million tonnes. The Laranjeiras dam is used in the operation of the Brucutu mine.

The development was the latest in a series of legal and regulatory actions against the miner since the fatal tailings dam burst at the Feijao iron ore mine, also in Brazil's Minas Gerais state, in January.

Previously, a Brazilian court ordered the suspension of its Minervino and Cordao Nova Vista dams until the mining major proves the stability of the structures. Further, 1 billion Brazilian reais in Vale's accounts have been ordered frozen by a court as compensation for the community affected by the Feijao disaster.

As of March 19, US$1 was equivalent to 3.77 Brazilian reais.