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Last year was disastrous for South America's iron ore miners. Brazil's Vale, the world's largest iron ore miner, lost US$12 billion even after producing a record amount of material. Then in November the banks burst at Vale and BHP Billiton's Samarco tailings dam in Minas Gerais state, sweeping away entire villages in a mudslide that killed at least 17 people. Despite the setbacks, Vale remains in the kind of aggressive mode that saw it become one of the world's largest mining companies in the previous decade. Read the report to get a sense of the health of the iron ore business in Latin America.
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