Friday, April 26, 2019
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Report: Vale knew that the Brazilian dam was in danger of collapsing

A story from Reuters on Tuesday said an internal Vale report concluded that a mining dam that collapsed last month was in danger of failing.

A BBC story said the documents show the company breached security policies in October last year.

In response, the company said there is no indication that the dam is about to fail.

"There is no report, test or study that mentions an imminent risk of collapse at Dam 1 at the Córrego do Feijão Mine in Brumadinho," Vale said in a statement.

"On the contrary, the dam had all its safety and stability certificates certified by domestic and foreign specialists."

According to Reuters internal report, Vale was told that the likelihood of a collapse in Brumadinho was 5,000, or twice the maximum allowed by the company's policies.

The report placed the dam in an "attention zone" and said that "prevention and mitigation controls" should be used, the BBC report said. In Brazil, nine of the 57 dams studied were also placed in the "attention zone".

Failure could cost the company $ 1.5 billion and lead to more than 100 deaths. In addition, nine other dams located in Vale, Brazil, were classified as vulnerable.

The disaster is the deadliest in Brazilian history. Fears that the death toll could rise to 300 as dozens of people are still missing. The BBC said the company has lost a quarter of its market value since the January 2 tragedy – or nearly $ 19 billion.

Also on Tuesday, Vale and other partners reached a $ 1.8 billion settlement with the Brazilian government over another dam collapse in November 2015.

The flooding caused by the collapse of the Bento Rodrigues Dam owned by Samarco – a joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton – flooded a sub-region of Mariana (Brazil), killing 17 people and causing widespread environmental damage.

This dam failure was the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history.

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