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Vale opened this weekend the S11D iron ore mine in Brazil – its biggest project ever, adding 75M metric tons of production when it reaches peak output in four years and firmly lifting Vale over Rio Tinto as the world’s top iron ore producer.
Vale invested $14.3B in the mine and processing facilities, along with the expansion of a rail line that will carry ore ~620 miles to a new port terminal for loading onto the world’s largest iron ore ships.
S11D will offer some of the best quality ore and lowest costs in the industry, able to produce 90M metric tons/year at full capacity a cost of ~$7/ton, or 41% less than Vale’s current average expense; the mine has a life expectancy of 30 years.