Brazil

Germano (Samarco) Complex

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Iron Ore
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotSamarco comprises a mine and three concentrators located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, and four pellet plants and a port located in Anchieta in the state of Espírito Santo.

Samarco’s operations were suspended in November 2015 after the Fundão dam failure. Since its restart in December 2020, 80 per cent of the tailings generated are filtrated and dry stacked, and 20 per cent are deposited in a confined pit enabling Samarco to operate without a conventional tailings dam structure.

Samarco has been progressively decommissioning its upstream tailings dam structures in accordance with Brazilian legislation. During FY2023, decommissioning works for the smaller of the two tailings dams, the Germano Pit dam, were completed. The progressive decommissioning of the remaining upstream tailings dam structure, the Germano Main dam, is planned for completion by FY2029.
Related Asset

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnershipInvestor's Info
Vale S.A. 50 % Indirect
BHP Group Ltd. 50 % Indirect
Samarco Mineracao S.A. (operator) 100 % Direct
BHP Brasil 50% of Samarco Mineração S.A. Vale S.A. 50%. Samarco is operated independently by Samarco Mineração S.A.

Samarco is a non-operated joint venture (NOJV) owned by BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda (BHP Brasil) and Vale S.A. (Vale), with each having a 50 per cent shareholding.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Banded iron formation

Summary:

Itabirite ore type.

Samarco’s Alegria mine complex and Germano mine, located in Mariana, Minas Gerais, is in the same region as Vale's Southeastern System - Quadrilatero Femfero (Iron Quadrangle).

Ore reserves with high ratios of itabirite ore relative to hematite ore type. Itabirite ore has iron grade of 35-60%.

The Quadrilátero Ferrífero (QF) comprises an area of about 7000 km2 and hosts one of the largest concentrations of lateritic iron-ore deposits in the world. The QF is located in central Minas Gerais state, southeastern region of Brazil (Dorr, 1965). The QF has a quadrangular shape due to the dome and basin structures of the Minas Supergroup. Most of the iron ore in the QF are hosted in the oxidized, metamorphosed and heterogeneously deformed Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) of the Cauê Formation, the so-called itabirites. The BIFs are altered sedimentary deposits with laminated rocks formed by alternating layers of silica and hematite magnetite, as well as carbonates and iron silicates.

The Quadrilátero Ferrífero is located at the southeastern border of the São Francisco Craton, southeastern Brazil. According to Alkmim and Marshak (1998) the most important lithostratigraphic units of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero are: (1) the Archean crystalline basement, (2) the Rio das Velhas Supergroup, (3) the Minas Supergroup, (4) the Post-Minas Intrusives and (5) the Itacolomi Group.

Basement crystalline rocks include a gneiss/migmatite complex and two generations of voluminous Late Archean plutons: calk-alkaline and anorogenic granites (Alkmim and Marshak, 1998). The Rio das Velhas Supergroup consists of greenstone (basalt and komatiite), rhyolitic lava and intercalated sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary units of the Rio das Velhas Supergroup include Algoma-type banded-iron formations (BIFs), carbonates and siliciclastics. The Minas Supergroup is a metasedimentary unit that unconformably overlies the Rio das Velhas Supergroup. According to Alkmim and Marshak (1998), the Minas Supergroup strata resist erosion, forming ridges that tower above the regions which are underlain by less resistant basement or greenstone rocks. These characteristics of the Minas Supergroup shaped the geomorphology of the southern Brazil highlands giving rise to high relief in this region. Alluvial conglomerate and sandstone made up the basal units of the Minas Supergroup. These units grade upward into shallow-water marine pelites of the Tamanduá and Caraça Groups. The Lake Superior-type Cauê banded-iron Formation lies on Caraça metasediments. The Cauê Formation is a carbonate sequence of the Gandarela Formation. Lying locally unconformably on the Gandarela Formation, the Piracicaba Group comprises a thick pile of shallow-water and deltaic strata. Separated from the Piracicaba Group by an unconformity, the Sabará Group is a thick sequence of turbidites, tuffs, volcaniclastics, conglomerates and diamictites derived from a source to the east–southeast. The PostMinas intrusives comprise thin, undated, pegmatite veins cutting Minas rock (Alkmim and Marshak, 1998; Herz, 1970). Finally, the Itacolomi Group is a unit consisting of alluvial sandstones, conglomerates and minor pelites (Dorr, 1969) deposited in intramontane grabens (Alkmim and Martins-Neto, 2012).

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits20242023202220212015
Iron Ore Mt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe25
All production numbers are expressed as pellets. ^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics20232022202020192015
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe8 Mt of iron ore pellets
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe25.4 Mt

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 24   30   28  
Operating Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -2,166   -1,558   -1,520  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 25, 2023
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EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2021
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2020
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2019

Aerial view:

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