Mining News

Vale seeks more time to remove upstream tailing dams

Vale (NYSE: VALE) is asking regulatory bodies in Brazil to extend a deadline for removing 23 upstream tailing dams located in the state of Minas Gerais due to a “technical impossibility” to meet the current Feb. 25 deadline.

Upstream dams are the type of the structures that failed in Mariana, in 2015, and Brumadinho, in 2019. The first disaster killed 19 people and the second accident left 270 people dead.

Vale, which owns most dams related to iron ore production in Minas Gerais, has eliminated four upstream dams in the state since 2019 and another three it has in Pará state, of a total of 30 belonging to the company.

The Rio de Janeiro-based said it remains committed to the removal of all its upstream tailing dams, adding that it expects to have eliminated 40% of them by the end of the year and 90% by 2029.

Full decommissioning, however, won’t be reached before 2035, it said in a statement quoted by local media.

There are other upstream dams in the state owned by companies like CSN, Gerdau and ArcelorMittal, according to records of the National Mining Agency (ANM) and the Minas Gerais government.

More to come …

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