Vale reports breach at Brazil iron ore waste dam

Friday, 25 January 2019 10:45:36 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

Brazilian miner and iron ore producer Vale reported on Friday a burst at an iron ore dam located at its Feijão mine in the city of Brumadinho, in the state of Minas Gerais. The company said the burst reached the company’s administrative area as well part of a community known as Vila Ferteco.

Vale said later on Friday there were some company employees working in the administrative area at the time of the incident, indicating there could be victims. Vale did not provide further details.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday the minister of environment was on his way to Brumadinho to see the extent of the incident.  The governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema, is also following up on the incident. He said he will work to address the immediate needs of the community, while also investigating the reasons for the incident.

The Brumadinho incident takes place three years after the Mariana disaster, in November 2015, which killed 19 people and halted production at pellet producer Samarco. Vale owns a 50 percent stake at Samarco, while BHP Billiton owns the remaining 50 percent share.

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