Vale operating license suspended in Brumadinho

The aftermath of the disaster in Brumadinho after Vale’s tailings dam collapsed. Photo by Vinícius Mendonça/Ibama, Wikimedia Commons.

The city of Brumadinho in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state has suspended Vale’s operating license after health agents said that the company’s onsite activities have “not respected the rules of social isolation.”

In a media statement, Brumadinho’s mayor Avimar de Melo Barcelos also ordered the suspension of the activities of Vale’s contractors.

The municipality also halted works to repair the Córrego do Feijão mine’s tailings dam, that collapsed last year, killing 270 people.

Only administrative and legal activities related to assisting residents affected by the rupture of the dam may operate, the city decreed, over concerns workers could be exposed to covid-19.

The city did not say how long Vale’s operations will remain suspended.

According to the municipality, there are 13 confirmed cases of covid-19 in the city and another 250 being investigated.

Vale has not responded to requests for comment on the decision.

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