Aboboras is a conventional open-cut mine and part of Vale's Vargem Grande complex, ultimately falling under Vale's Southern System operations. The mine is located in Brazil's Quadrilátero Ferrífero (QF) region and approximately 30 kilometres south-east of Belo Horizonte. Production at Aboboras commenced in 2006, mining a small reserve of high-grade hematite which sits above a much larger low-grade itabirite portion. In 2009, Vale's board approved an expansion project to build a 10-Mtpa beneficiation plant to process the low-grade itabirite reserves of the deposit. The project was completed in 2014.