Anglo American said on Friday operations had resumed at its Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil. File picture: Reuters

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American said on Friday operations had resumed at its Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil following an extensive technical inspection of the 529 km pipeline that carries the iron ore from the mine to the port, pre-emptive repairs and regulatory approvals.

"The inspection of the entire pipeline by specialist pipeline inspection devices and the analysis of the collected data by expert teams drawn from Brazil and internationally, confirmed the pipeline’s integrity," Anglo American said.

The company said it had pre-emptively replaced a 4 km stretch of pipeline where the two leaks of non-hazardous material had occurred, as well as a small number of individual sections of pipe where the analysis detected minor anomalies below the normal threshold for intervention.

"The protection of the natural environment surrounding local communities and the overall integrity of the pipeline have formed the focus of our work to restart Minas-Rio and meet our obligations to our host communities, employees, customers and other stakeholders," CEO Mark Cutifani said.

"The extensive analysis confirmed the sound condition of the pipeline and we have taken a number of preventative measures to provide additional reassurance for the long term."

Anglo American expects the operation to ramp up to 1.2 million tonnes per month and to produce approximately 16-19 million tonnes of iron ore in 2019.

Minas-Rio is expected to report an underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) loss of $320 million for 2018, compared to guidance of a loss of $300-400 million.

Anglo American has a primary listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and secondary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Botswana Stock Exchange, the Namibia Stock Exchange and the SIX Swiss Exchange.

- African News Agency (ANA)