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Samarco’s waste containment efforts incomplete, says environmental authority

Friday, 10 February 2017 00:27:13 (GMT+3)   -   Sao Paulo
SteelOrbis News

Brazil’s environmental authority, Ibama, said this week it considered Samarco’s waste containment works incomplete. Samarco is a 50/50 pellets JV between Vale and BHP Billiton.
 
According to Ibama, Samarco is not removing the iron ore waste that spilled from its burst dam in November 2015 fast enough to prevent further environmental degradation.
 
The most critical part of Samarco’s waste containment works includes a 130-mile-long section involving the cities of Mariana and the Risoleta Neves hydroelectric power plant, in the city of Santa Cruz do Escalvado. The hydroelectric power plant helped contain part of the waste, Ibama said.
 
Despite recognizing that Samarco contained part of the mud leakage within the areas that belong to the pellet producer, Ibama demands a stronger effort by the company to recover the regions impacted by the disaster.
 
An Ibama official estimated 55 percent of the waste that spilled in the region is still in the Mariana-Santa Cruz do Escalvado section. Rain has made it difficult to remove the waste, but Samarco said it is still dredging the affected areas.

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