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Vale’s Negligence May Have Cost Lives in Brumadinho Dam - ANM

Mining News - Published on Thu, 07 Nov 2019

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Brazil's mining regulator ANM’s report on its probe into the Brumadinho dam in collapse disaster said that iron ore miner Vale SA failed to disclose problems and kept the agency from taking actions that could have saved lives. The report detailed several problems that it said Vale should have reported. ANM head Victor Bicca said “The first occurred in June 2018, seven months before the disaster, when the company installed horizontal drainage pipes and discovered sediment in the drainage water. This worrying sign should have been reported immediately. The serious fact is that when there is sediment it must be reported. Period. It wasn't. If it had been communicated, the area would immediately have been submitted to daily inspections. But we didn't know what was happening."

Several ANM directors said if Vale had properly reported drainage, water pressure and other issues at the dam, it would have been classified as emergency level 1, bringing a higher level of scrutiny including daily inspections. They said those inspections could have uncovered further problems, ultimately leading to evacuation, which would have saved lives.

Based on the report's findings, ANM will now assess the iron ore miner with 24 new fines. Officials said that the amount of each fine is capped at around 6000 reais (AUD 2200) under Brazilian law.

The dam in Brumadinho collapsed and flooded a nearby company cafeteria and the surrounding countryside with mining waste, killing more than 250 people. It was Vale's second deadly dam collapse in less than four years.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Thu, 07 Nov 2019
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