Serra Azul Iron Ore Complex

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Iron ore transport and logistics solutions

Brazilian steel giant Usiminas Group, through subsidiary Mineração Usiminas Serra Azul (MUSA), developed the Serra Azul iron ore mine located near the city of Itatiaiuçú in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

As part of the umbrella services contract with Usiminas, which covered all of Ausenco’s service offerings, our Process infrastructure team was chosen to provide studies and engineering services for Serra Azul’s rail and slurry transport systems.

The 30 Mt/y Serra Azul project comprised an upgrade to the existing port, rail transportation and terminal loading facilities to transport ore from the process plant to the port.

Ausenco’s scope included the conceptual design and engineering for the tailings pipeline from new ITM West to ITM friable and an 8 km long, 16-inche diameter pipeline designed to transport up to 5.5 Mt/y, with four centrifugal pumps.

Ausenco also performed basic and detailed engineering for the iron ore pipeline and tailings line with a capacity of 2.4 Mt/y, diameter of 8 inches, and extension of approximately 8 km, with one positive displacement pump.

The scope also included conceptual studies of two alternative routes for the friable iron ore pipeline and tailings system, verifying the consequences on the pumping stations, as the pumps had been already purchased.

The project began in October of 2011 and was completed in March 2013.

Project details

Iron ore
Itatiaiuçú, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Business line
Process Infrastructure
Mineração Usiminas Serra Azul
2011 - 2013
Solution phase
Conceptual design, basic engineering, detailed engineering, alternate route studies, production logistics trade-offs