File picture: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - Multinational mining company Anglo American said on Tuesday it had suspended its Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil last Thursday, to conduct a full inspection of the pipeline that carries iron ore, in slurry form, from the mine to the export terminal.

The company said it took the decision following a minor leak that was identified in the pipeline. The leak of non-hazardous iron ore slurry was stopped within eight minutes and caused no disruption to local water supply. 

"Specialised technical equipment will now be used to identify any other areas of potential weakness within the pipeline," Anglo American said.

"Due to the length of the pipeline and the priority of ensuring the protection of the natural environment, the current expectation is that it will take approximately 90 days for the full inspection to be completed during which time operations at Minas-Rio will remain suspended."

Anglo American, which is based in South Africa and Britain, has a diversified mining portfolio spanning diamonds, platinum, copper, iron ore and manganese, metallurgical and thermal coal, and nickel across a number of locations including South Africa, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Australia and Finland.

- African News Agency (ANA)