Brazil's Vale says iron ore output at risk due to licensing
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Thursday it could lose as much as 100 million tonnes of annual iron ore output in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais over the next three years due to pending environmental licenses.
The world's largest iron ore producer, in an email sent to Reuters, said licenses for 88 projects were still being analyzed. If they were not approved, consequent shutdowns would halve Vale's output in the state.
Production cuts could come as soon as the next few months, Vale said, as its 30 million-tonne-per-year Brucutu mine requires a license for a connected dam.
The details were first presented at a public hearing on Tuesday about the future of Vale in Minas Gerais, where the company has its historic roots.
"The company continues to look for alternatives to maintain its level of production and preserve market share," the company said in the statement.
(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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