With Vale's new major project S11D nearing its late-2016 production start date, we look at the economics of one of the largest undeveloped resources of high grade, direct shipping iron ore known in the world.
S11D also known as Serra Sul is the major new mining project being developed by Vale in its Northern System. The project is planned to have an annual production capacity of 90 million tonnes and is estimated to have a capital cost of roughly US$16 billion.
At full production we estimate the C1 cash cost (FOB Vessel) at US$10.6/tonne (real 2016 terms), placing Serra Sul at the bottom of the industry cost curve. Low operating costs are due to the low strip ratio, high grade orebody and the truck-less mining system.
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Paul Gray, our Research Director for Global Iron Ore Markets, answers key questions on price, supply and what the future holds.