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Brazilian miner Vale to start building Middle East 'mega hubs' in 2024

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale said on Tuesday it expects to start building "mega hubs" in Middle Eastern countries next year to make low-carbon iron ore products for the steel industry, with the first one becoming operational in 2027.

Vale had announced last year plans to develop the plants in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, saying products coming from them would include hot iron ore briquettes to supply both local and foreign markets. The company said in a presentation it has been signing deals with customers as they seek solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the steel industry. Processing more iron ore briquettes could be a step in that direction, Vale said. The Brazilian miner did not provide details on how much it would invest in the "mega hubs" or which one would be built first.

Vale is expected to build and operate iron ore concentration and briquetting plants at the hubs. Its local partners are set to build the required logistics infrastructure, it said.

(Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Editing by Paul Simao)

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