Back to News   Darren MacDonald

Nov 08, 2019


Industry News

Vale failed to report defects in tailings dam before collapse

[rt_reading_time] MIN READ

A January collapse of a tailings dam in Brazil that killed 250 people could have been prevented if Vale reported defects with the structure, says the National Minerals Agency (ANM).

A story this week from the BBC says the agency was relying on internal Vale documents that cited several issues with the Feijão dam in Brumadinho.

The collapse engulfed the entire area with a sea of toxic sediment, and stands as the worst industrial accident in Brazil’s history

“If ANM had been correctly informed it could have taken precautionary measures and forced the company (Vale) to take emergency actions that could have avoided the disaster,” the statement from ANM said.

In 2018, the company noted sediment buildup in drainage pipes, a significant warning sign that a collapse could happen.

“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,” ANM head Victor Bicca told reporters, the BBC story said.

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