Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA said on Thursday it will start supplying a new iron ore product ‘GF88’, hematite or ground fines used for pelletizing, in the first quarter of 2020.
Vale, the top global pellets and pellet feed producer, expects the pellet ratio in China’s blast furnaces to increase to 19% in 2025 from 14% in 2018, or by about 50 million tonnes, Marcello Spinelli, its executive director-ferrous minerals, told an industry conference.
GF88 is a high-grade iron ore product, produced by grinding Vale’s flagship Carjas IOCJ 65% Fe fines, a company spokesperson told Reuters.
China’s demand for iron ore pellets and high-quality ore is expected to be driven in 2020 by Beijing’s push to shift dozens of steel mills to coastal regions in its battle to stop smog blanketing industrial cities.
Meanwhile, Vale expects about 30 million tonnes of iron ore production to be resumed in 2-3 years, Spinelli said.
Vale was authorised in June to restart work at Brucutu, its main mine in Minas Gerais in Brazil, after a tailings dam collapse in January killed more than 240 people and disrupted iron ore supply.
Vale has an iron ore capacity of 340 million and 345 million tonnes.