Vale ignored warning before deadly Brumadinho dam collapse

Tuesday, 05 November 2019 00:17:06 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

Vale’s top executives allegedly received an anonymous email warning about the faulty dams at Brumadinho weeks before the deadly tragedy, a media report from the Wall Street Journal said this week, mentioning a police document.

The media report said an email sent on January 9, 2019, about two weeks before the collapse, warned several Vale executives, including then CEO Fabio Schvartsman, CFO Luciano Siani Pires and others, the dams were “at their limit.”

Vale told the WSJ the email was “generic” and lacked evidence. According to the letter, Vale had “great challenges ahead,” as operations lacked  “the minimum level of adequate investment.”

“We are lacking personnel in the operational, maintenance and engineering areas and they are poorly remunerated…equipment is breaking, the dams are at their limit,” the anonymous email said.

According to police documents, then-CEO Schvartsman tried, unsuccessfully, to find out who wrote the email after the collapse took place.

The WSJ media report noted authorities “believed Vale was concerned that any problems at its dams could spook shareholders following the collapse of another dam it jointly owned in 2015 that killed 19 people.”

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