Anglo American has secured a construction licence for the development of its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil from the Minas Gerais environmental authority.

The company gained an installation license for a 90km-long 230kV power transmission line that will link its mine and treatment plant in Minas Gerais state to a power station in Itabira.

The Minas-Rio project is 60% complete and is expected to commence first production in the second half of 2013, but Anglo American must obtain the operational licence to start iron ore production.

The mine, once operational, will have initial capacity to produce 26.5 million metric tonnes a year of iron ore.

Anglo American has also signed supply contracts for the sale of half of Minas-Rio’s first-phase production to the Middle East and a quarter to Asia.