Vale halts Onça Puma mine operations on licensing issue

Vale has confirmed the suspension of operations at its Onça Puma nickel mine in the Para state, Brazil, after being notified by government officials it was out of compliance with its mining license.

The miner said Oct. 4 that the Environmental and Sustainability office of the Para State (SEMAS), which according to local reports issued the notification on Oct. 1, has told the company there is “no compliance with conditions for licensing” though it did not disclose details.

A Reuters report from the same day stated it received a statement from the government agency that there was an unfulfilled obligation to provide services for communities surrounding the mine, which included the installation of a health unit and a fiber-optic network.

“Vale is estimating the direct impacts of the shutdown of Onça Puma mine, to which will follow the probable losses incurred by those that are part of its value chain, such as suppliers, contractors, clients and employees, in addition to the federal government, the state of Pará and the municipalities reached by the operations,” the miner said.

“The company is in contact with SEMAS to understand the technical and legal grounds for the determination. It is also taking the appropriate administrative and judicial measures to reverse the order to suspend mine operations, which it considers unfounded.”

The Para state, in northern Brazil, is home to multiple Vale mines. Vale is the world’s largest producer of nickel.

Sources: Vale and Reuters

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