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Vale expands security area around dam in Minas Gerais

October 2017 aerial image of the area affected by the tailings dam failure in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (Photo by Vinícius Mendonça, courtesy of Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).)

Vale (NYSE: VALE) announced on Thursday it has enlarged the security area around the Doutor dam at the Timbopeba mine in the Mariana Complex, Minas Gerais.

The company said the move is part of an agreement with Brazilian prosecutors, and will involve the relocation of 75 families, residing in the communities of Antônio Pereira and Vila Antônio Pereira.

Since February, 73 families had already been relocated when the Doutor dam rose to emergency level 2.

In 2015, the collapse of the Fundão Dam at Mariana complex killed 19 people and caused lasting environmental damage. The facility was run by Samarco, jointly owned by BHP and Vale.

Earlier this week, the Fire Brigade of Minas Gerais announced it will resume on August 27th the search for still missing bodies of 11 victims of the dam collapse in Brumadinho last year, which killed 270 people.

Work was halted on March 21 due to pandemic protocols. The resumed operation will include 60 military personnel, who will continue to search the perimeter of the site of the disaster.