Brazil court orders Vale to halt operations at several dams

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:26:42 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

A Brazilian court has ordered local miner and iron ore producer Vale to halt activities at several iron ore dams, the company said this week. The decision follows a request of Minas Gerais state prosecutors.

The court ordered the following dams to halt operations: Barragem Dique de Contenção Paracatu, Dique de Contenção Lavra Azul, Barragem Dicão Leste, Barragem do Mosquito, Dique de Contenção Cobras, Barragem Sul, Barragem Sabiá, B3, Dique da Estrada de São Gonçalo, Barragem Principal, Barragem Captação, Barragem Pocilga and the Barragem Athayde dam.

Vale said the court decision will only impact the miner’s operations at its Brucutu mine, since the Barragem Sul dam eventually gets materials from Brucutu’s concentration plant. Vale was expecting to resume operations at its Brucutu complex, as reported by SteelOrbis. The court decision further delays the company’s plans to resume Brucutu activities. Vale said it was aware of the decision but was not officially notified of the matter.

Additionally, Vale said another court seized about BRL 2.9 billion in assets to guarantee eventual indemnities for communities affected by recent evacuations, due to the increased risk of another dam collapse. 

Vale was also ordered by a third court to present a technical stability report for its Sul Superior dam, near Gongo Soco, and a plan of action, as the structure could soon collapse.

Vale said earlier this week it raised the security level of its Barragem Sul Superior dam at its Gongo Soco mine in Barão de Cocais, Minas Gerais state, to level 3, which means the structure could collapse.

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