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Brazil closes unsafe mining tailing dams

Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 7, 2020
Local media reported that Brazil has ordered the closure of 47 mining dams that failed to certify their stability, with more than half of them belonging to Vale.
Brazil dam
Brazil   Brazil dam
The new directives also forced the decharacterization of some drained stack structures owned by Vale, which are a different kind of commonly used tailings dam.

Topics: Brazil dams

The decharacterization process is part of the last phase of the decommissioning of a dam.

It refers to the treatment of a structure so that it does not present dam characteristics and can be reincorporated to the environment.

By October, 54 Brazilian dams had either not certified their stability or failed to file the required paperwork.

Many of those structures are the ones closed down today, but the list also includes others operated by Vale or its affiliates.

That brings the company’s number up to at least 25 inactive dams.

Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine’s tailings suffered a catastrophic failure in January last year, killing at least 270 people.

The deadly incident, the second dam collapse in a Vale mine in less than four years, led to serious production stoppages, pledges by the company to reconstruct or decommission many of its other waste storage facilities and the firing of a number of executives.


 

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