Vale reverses order to shut Itabira

Itabira, Minas Gerais, Vale’s first mine. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Vale (NYSE: VALE) said in a securities filing on Friday that its Itabira iron ore mine was ordered shut under an order from Brazilian labor authorities, but also that it was able to immediately reverse that order after obtaining a favorable court injunction.

The labor authorities reported that 200 local employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

Vale said that since the start of the covid-19 outbreak, its priority is to guarantee the safety of its workers. It also said that it is providing assistance to employees during the pandemic, and that it does not disclose employee test results.

Itabira is the site of Vale’s first mine. It is also one of ten cities affected by the collapse of the tailings dam at Brumadinho — and one that is still waiting for Vale to transfer funds as per an agreement to cover incurred losses in mining royalties.

Recently, a Minas Gerais state court revoked a decree from Brumadinho municipality that suspended Vale’s operating license after health agents said that the company’s onsite activities had “not respected the rules of social isolation.”

(With files from Reuters)

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