Brazilian miner Vale ordered to repair environmental damage

Region of the Quilombola Community in Brazil pictured. (Shutterstock image)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – A Brazilian court on Monday ordered the world’s largest iron ore miner Vale SA to repair environmental damages its operations caused in land belonging to a community of descendants of escaped slaves in northern Brazil.

Federal prosecutors announced the ruling in a statement that said the electricity transmission lines and a bauxite pipeline damaged soil and silted up rivers in the Moju “quilombola” territory in the northeast of Pará state.

The court also ordered Vale to set up a project to generate income for the 788 families affected by the company’s operations and compensate them with cash until it was implemented.

No value was given for the cost of the reparations Vale must pay. The Rio de Janeiro-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a separate case, federal prosecutors recommended the suspension of Vale’s dredging operations in the Sepetiba Bay in Rio de Janeiro state after a virus killed 200 gray porpoises.

Vale said it had not been officially informed about the recommendation. It said in a statement that all its operations in the bay where it has a terminal are duly licensed and monitored by the authorities.

(Reporting by Luciano Costa, writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)