Tamandua is mid-sized surface 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 19 kilometres south of the city of Belo Horizonte. The deposit is approximately 0.4 kilometres wide and 1.8 kilometres long. Since Vale does not own 100% of the MRS railway, it must pay market rates for transportation. As a result, Tamandua's transport costs are one of the company's highest, accounting for approximately one-third of the project's 2018 total cash cost.