Vale began industrial-scale production of Sustainable Sand at its Viga mine in Congonhas in Minas Gerais in Brazil in the second half of this year. With capacity to process 200,000 tonnes of sand per year, it is expected to produce 80,000 tonnes in 2022, reaching 185,000 tonnes in 2023. Obtained from the treatment of iron ore tailings, Sustainable Sand is one of the company's initiatives to reduce the use of dams in its operations in Minas Gerais. The material can replace natural sand, extracted from river beds, with a wide application in the civil construction market.The Viga mine is Vale's second unit to manufacture Sustainable Sand on an industrial scale, following the same quality controls as for iron ore production. The first was the Brucutu mine, in São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo, Minas Gerais, which processed 250,000 tonnes of the material last year. The company's projection is to produce 1 million tonnes of the input this year, doubling the volume in 2023. Each tonne of sand produced represents one tonne less of tailings being disposed of in piles or dams.Since 2020, the company has also been operating the Pico Block Factory, the first pilot plant for civil construction products whose main raw material is tailings from mining activities. Installed in the Pico mine, in the municipality of Itabirito (MG), the plant relies on the technical cooperation of the Federal Center of Technological Education of Minas Gerais (CEFET-MG) for the development of blocks and floors. Ten researchers from the institution are working on the research during this period.In March this year, the first road in Brazil to use Vale's Sustainable Sand in all four layers of pavement was inaugurated. The 425m-long track at Cauê mine, in Itabira (MG), will be monitored for two years with 96 pressure, temperature, deformation and humidity sensors. Tests carried out during five years in the laboratory indicated that the increase in useful life is of the order of 50% and the cost reduction of 20% when compared to materials more commonly used for road construction, such as sand extracted from the environment. In addition, each kilometer of pavement can consume up to 7,000 tons of tailings.