Brazilian miner Vale is turning 37 years worth of mining waste at an iron ore complex in the Amazon into high-quality material to be used in steel production, says BloombergVale has started extracting scrap that had been dumped at a tailings dam at Carajas in northern Brazil since 1985 as part of a project at its largest iron ore operation. The material, which is rich in iron ore particles, will be processed into feed for a plant that makes pellets to be used in blast furnaces for steelmaking. The $ 485M Gelado project will have an initial production capacity of 5M metric tons a year.Vale is using all-electric dredges to extract the 140M metric tons of tailings, along with pumps powered by hydroelectricity instead of fossil fuels. After that, the ore undergoes a process that uses magnets to separate ferrous particles from contaminants and improve its quality. The operation is expected to reach full annual capacity of 10M metric tons by 2026. That could translate into 8.3M metric tons of pellets, or about a quarter of Vale’s total output last year.