Vale denied stability re-certifications on 17 dams, dikes

Arial view of the mudslide triggered by the dam burst at Córrego do Feijão in January. (Photo: ABC News via @MidiaNINJA)

Brazilian mining giant Vale (NYSE:VALE) has been denied stability certificates for at least 17 dams and dikes after the licences expired on March 31, as a result of an ongoing review of the miner’s operations in the country following the January dam disaster at its Córrego do Feijão mine, which killed hundreds.

The loss of certificates will not require additional evacuations around structures that have not already been evacuated, nor will it alter the company’s previously disclosed sales projection for iron ore and pellets, Vale said in a securities filing.

Fresh assets freeze are a possible compensation for damages related to Vale’s evacuation of the area around its Vargem Grande dam in Minas Gerais state.

The news comes the same day the iron ore producer, the world’s No. 1, revealed that a local had frozen an additional 1 billion reais (about $258 million) in assets to be held as possible compensation for damages related to the recent evacuation of the area around its Vargem Grande dam in Minas Gerais state.

Last month, another court ordered the company to freeze 1 billion reais, a decision that was shortly followed by another verdict that asked Vale to set aside 2.95 billion reais ($763 million).

Brazilian prosecutors began probing in March more than 100 high-risk dams across the country early this month. They say they doubt the legitimacy of the safety audits carried out at the nation’s mines, especially considering that Córrego do Feijão was certified as stable by German consulting group Tüv Süd only days before the deadly accident.

Click here for complete coverage of the dam burst at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão mine.

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