Electric dredgers at Gelado project in Brazil

Vale has started commissioning the Gelado Project in Carajás, in the state of Pará (Brazil), using 100% electric dredgers that will extract tailings deposited over the last 37 years.

Felipe Borges/ Vale

The commissioning phase, in which performance and capacity tests with loading are being carried out, should last until the end of the first half of the year, when operation will begin on a continuous basis.

Over the last 37 years Vale has been producing iron ore at Carajás and depositing the tailings in the Gelado dam.

This material is basically composed of iron ore particles that could not be used in the original beneficiation process and impurities such as silica and alumina. Using dredges, the tailings will be removed from the dam and sent back for processing at the plant.

The sustainable character of the project is reinforced by the use of 100% electric dredges, as well as electric pumps, which use electricity from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels such as diesel.

Thus, over 10 years, the project will stop emitting a total of 484,000 tons of CO2, equivalent to the consumption for one year of 105,000 gasoline-powered 1,000-cc cars . The dredges, of Royal IHC technology, are 46 meters long and weigh 364 tons.