A Brazilian judge suspended an environmental regulator decision allowing Brazilian integrated steelmaker Gerdau to expand its Várzea Lopes complex, the Minas Gerais state Court of Justice said on Friday.
COPAM, a council within the Minas Gerais state environment regulator, allowed earlier this year Gerdau to expand its Várzea Lopes complex, which is currently located at a state park, whose area is considered an environment protection area, known as Mona.
As reported by SteelOrbis, Gerdau plans to expand its Várzea Lopes complex by 31.6 acres. The expansion is part of a company’s plan to BRL 1.5 billion ($280.3 million) in Minas Gerais state. Gerdau would use the complex expansion to explore new areas and expand the life cycle of its existing iron ore reserves for a further ten-year period.
Despite the COPAM approval to implement the expansion, Gerdau would still need legislator approval to move on the project. The project is currently under discussion at the Minas Gerais State Legislative Assembly (ALMG).
The court gave COPAM 30 days to explain its decision allowing Gerdau to move on the project.