The Alemão gold-copper deposit is part of the Igarapé Bahia mineralized system in the Carajás Mineral Province of Para State, Brazil. The deposit was discovered by the exploration arm of Vale in 1996. The Alemão orebody underlies the far northwestern margin of the Igarapé Bahia deposit, which represents a 100 to 150 metre thick gossan-laterite zone from which significant amounts of gold (>60 t) were mined until 2003.
In 2020, Vale reported that the Company has significant opportunities to grow their copper business organically. With a strong portfolio of copper assets, Vale plans to develop a multi-year copper expansion plan, with Alemão, Salobo III, and Cristalino being competitive projects that will support their strategic goal of production capacity of around 500 thousand tonnes of copper per year.