Vale enacts emergency protocol at Barragem 5 dam

Vale recently launched Marco Zero, a pilot project in Brumardinho aimed at rebuilding the original conditions of the Ferro-Carvão stream and recover the region’s vegetation following last year’s dam burst. (Image courtesy of Vale SA)

Vale (NYSE: Vale) announced on Wednesday that it has started, on a preventive basis, the Level 1 emergency protocol for Barragem 5 dam, at Mina da Mutuca, Nova Lima, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

According to the company, the protocol does not require the evacuation of the population downstream of the dam.

Barragem 5 was built with compacted soil, with a downstream construction method and no longer receives mining tailings.

Last October, 54 Brazilian dams failed to certify their stability or file the stability paperwork altogether

“This protocol is a consequence of the change in technical criteria, with a new interpretation of the resistance parameters carried out by an additional stage of evaluation of Vale’s structures in Brazil. From the most recent inspections, anomalies that could compromise the safety of the structure have not been identified,” Vale said in a press release.

Vale reported that the activation of Level 1 of the dam does not impact the company’s 2020 production plan.

The safety of Vale’s facilities has been under scrutiny after the Brumadinho dam collapsed last year, releasing a torrent of mining waste that killed about 270 people. It was the second Vale dam to collapse in four years.

In April, Brazil’s National Mining Agency (ANM) said that it would halt operations at 47 mining dams that failed to certify their stability, including at least 25 belonging to Vale.

Last October, 54 Brazilian dams failed to certify their stability or file the stability paperwork altogether.

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