RIO DE JANEIRO, July 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale produced 80.54 million tonnes of iron ore in the second quarter, the company said in a securities filing Wednesday.
That marks a 0.35 percent increase from 80.26 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2011, the company said, but a 15.1 percent increase from 69.99 million tonnes of iron ore produced during the first quarter of this year.
Vale, the world's biggest miner of iron ore, said production of pellets during the quarter climbed to 14.26 million tonnes from 13.14 million tons a year earlier, an increase of 8.5 percent, and a 12.4-percent rise from 12.69 million tonnes in the first quarter.
The increase in output compared with the first quarter reflects a recovery from heavy rains that disrupted operations at some of Vale's mines earlier in the year, causing delays in the shipment of some ore, the company said.
The rains were so bad that Vale in January declared force majeure, a legal step that allows a company to breach delivery or other contract obligations because of events out of its control.