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Vale says partial shutdown of Tubarao wastewater treatment plant affecting operations

Sao Paulo — The wastewater treatment plant at Vale's iron ore complex in Tubarao, Esprito Santo state, has been partially shut down, affecting input and coal port services and four of eight of pelletizing plants there, the company has said.

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The complex's iron ore pellet production capacity is more than 36.2 million mt/year. Pelletizing plants 1-4, which together account for about half of that production capacity, are affected.

The partial shutdown of the wastewater treatment plant was ordered by the Vitoria city government because wastewater was being released into coastal waters, the city's environmental agency said Friday in a statement. Vale was also fined in Real 35 million ($9.39 million), the agency said.

Vale refuted any problems with its wastewater system.

"No irregularities were found in the system during the latest inspections by the city environmental authorities, and the monitoring reports from October 2018 to December 2018 indicate that the wastewater is within the established parameters," the company said in a statement late Thursday.

"[Vale] has been monitoring the water bodies that receive the wastewater for over 30 years, and it has never found any changes to the quality of water," it said.

-- Jose Guerra, jose.guerra@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com