South American mining company Vale SA claims it has produced 85.3Mt of iron ore during Q2 of 2015, the second highest quarterly production figure in the company’s history and the highest ever in a second quarter.

During Q1 2015 the company produced 159.8Mt, higher than in Q1 2014.

The company was granted an operational licence to extend its N5S mine, and this, claims Vale, will support improvements in average product quality and reduce production costs due to lower strip ratios and lower average haulage distances in Carajás. The mine is part of the N5 ore body, says Vale, with 888Mmt of proven and probable reserves with an average FE content of 67.2%.

During Q2 2015, Vale produced 9.8Mt of ore from its N4WS mine. The ore boasted 65.1% iron content and low phosphorus levels. During H2 2015, Vale expects to be mining ‘even higher’ Fe content ores with lower contaminant levels as it completes the pre-stripping of the mine and reduces the processing of the first ore layer (‘canga’).

Vale intends to reduce the supply of high silica content ores by between 25Mt to 30Mt on an annualised basis, replacing them with higher quality products. The reductions, claims the company, will come from Southern and Southeastern Systems and from ore purchased by third parties.

Vale’s pellet production was 12.2Mt during Q2 2015 – a quarterly production record, thanks to good performances from the Oman and Vargem Grande pellet plants.