Vale has confirmed that a fire on Oct. 5 at its Salobo copper mine in the Pará state, Brazil, has temporarily idled production.
The miner said the fire at the Maraba operation partially affected the mine’s conveyor belt, and that no injuries or environmental damage was reported.
While an investigation is performed to assess the causes of the blaze, production of copper concentrate will be suspended at Salobo, the company said, with hopes to resume by the end of the month following an evaluation.
Other activities, including mine and maintenance operations, will proceed normally.
Salobo, which is in the southeast region of Pará, first went into operation in November 2012. Last year, it produced 172.700 tonnes of copper concentrate. The venture has an estimated nominal capacity of 100,000 tons of concentrated copper annually.
The last few weeks have not been good ones for Vale; on Oct. 4 it confirmed the stoppage of production at its Onça Puma mine, also in Pará, after the state’s government said it was out of compliance with its mining license.
Late last month, Vale said in a statement that it fortunately brought 39 employees to the surface at its Totten operation in Sudbury, Canada, after shaft damage rendered its conveyance system inoperable, trapping the group for multiple days.