(Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale produced nearly 70 million tonnes of iron ore in the first quarter, the company said in a securities filing on Tuesday.
That production was down 2.2 percent from 71.5 million tonnes during the first quarter of 2011. Production of iron pellets rose 1.4 percent during the period from a year ago to 12.7 million tonnes.
The company, the world's biggest producer of iron ore, said overall production during the quarter had been hampered by heavy rains at its Brazilian mines.
In January, heavy rains at its Brazilian mines led the company to declare force majeure, a legal procedure that allows the company to breach delivery and other contract obligations because of events out of its control.