Vale's iron ore hub project in final stage

IPOH: The proposed opening of an iron ore production and distribution hub in Manjung by Brazilian Vale SA is in the final stage, and construction work for the RM8.5 billion project is expected to begin soon.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said all processes relating to the project were ongoing smoothly but the state government was still waiting for the company to submit the second environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

"We have asked for another EIA report and Vale has almost completed it.

"For your information, they have prepared an EIA report before this but the state government has requested for another EIA report because it is a big project," he told reporters after launching the "The Ambassadors Forum 2010" here on Monday.

He dismissed allegations that the first EIA report had shown that the iron ore production and distribution hub project would cause pollution which would adversely affect the tourism industry in Manjung.

"No pollution; it just states the causal effects and precautionary measures that need to be taken. It does not tell about pollution that will happen," he said.

Vale was reported to have said that the project in Teluk Rubiah, Lumut, could start this year, involving a capital expenditure of US$900 million (RM3 billion) for Phase One including US$98 million (RM333 million) for 2010.

Vale, which describes itself as the second largest diversified metals and mining company in the world, expects to enlarge its market presence in Asia once the distribution centre is up and running some three years from now.

The centrepiece will be a pelletising plant, which converts raw iron ore into pellets that are used in steel production. - Bernama

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