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Brazil Paragominas bauxite mine work may start soon

Brazil Paragominas bauxite mine work may start soon
RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil\'s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) (VALE5.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) (RIO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said last week that it expects to get an environmental permit in around 30 days to enable it to develop its vast Paragominas bauxite deposit.

\"We\'re confident the preliminary licence for the project\'s slurry pipe will take another 30 to maximum 60 days to be granted by Para state government,\" CVRD\'s environmental manager Mauricio Reis told Reuters.

Following court action by CVRD against Para state for delays of more than one year in processing environmental permits, the state government issued a license for the mine in mid-March but not for the slurry pipe.

\"We hope not to have to file any further court action,\" Reis said.

The 230-km pipe, which will carry Paragominas bauxite to feed the CVRD-controlled Alunorte alumina plant, near Belem, is an integral part of the bauxite mine project.

Installation and operating licenses are expected to be issued in the next few days, Reis said.

Paragominas will produce 4.5 million tonnes a year of bauxite for Alunorte\'s phase two expansion to 4.2 million tonnes a year of alumina by late 2005, making it one of the world\'s largest alumina plants.

In early March, CVRD signed an agreement with Guyana\'s state controlled Aroaima Mining Co. to import bauxite for the Alunorte expansion as it was unclear if environmental permits would be given in time for the planned start-up.

\"Even with Paragominas now expected to move forward, we still expect bauxite imports to continue for some time,\" Reus said.

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