(Adds details on production)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's Vale SA , the world's largest iron ore producer, said on Thursday its production in the third quarter hit a fresh quarterly record, boosted by a ramp-up at its S11D mine.
Iron ore output rose 3.3 percent compared with the same period last year to 95.1 million tonnes, the company said, spurred by record quarterly production in Vale's so-called northern system, which includes the Carajas, Serra Leste and S11D mines in the state of Para.
Output at those mines jumped 16.4 percent to 45 million tonnes, as S11D, which began selling ore this year, advanced "according to plan," the company said.
Pellet production rose 21.5 percent to 12.2 million tonnes last quarter from a year earlier.
The company maintained its forecast that total iron ore output in 2017 would approach the lower end of a range between 360 million and 380 million tonnes.
Average iron content was 64.1 percent, higher than the 63.8 percent in the last quarter as the company reduces production of ore with high silica content from its southern mines. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Marta Nogueira; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Bernadette Baum)