BRAZIL: National development bank BNDES announced on August 23 that it had approved an agreement to provide R$3·9bn to mining company Vale, which is to be used to fund a RS$8bn programme to increase capacity on the Carajás Railway and other transport infrastructure for its northern iron ore operations.

To increase capacity by 30·4% to handle up to 150 million tonnes a year, the CLN150 project includes doubling 115 km of railway as well as the acquisition of new locomotives and wagons. Port and terminal facilities are to be expanded at Ponta da Madeira.

BNDES says that the CLN150 programme will create 15 000 jobs during construction, as well as 1 600 new posts during the operations phase which is expected to commence in the first half of 2014.