SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA on Wednesday began working on another of the five upstream tailing dams it expects to eliminate in 2022 as a safety measure to prevent collapses.
The new effort will focus on eliminating a dike from its Barragem 5 dam at the Aguas Claras mine, located in the Minas Gerais city of Nova Lima, the company told Reuters.
Upstream structures pose greater risks of collapse, and Vale plans to eliminate 30 of them by 2035. The mining giant said 40% of the goal is expected to be reached by year-end 2022, and 90% by 2029.
The plans follow a deadly 2019 disaster, when a structure collapsed in the city of Brumadinho, killing 270 people.
“Eliminating all upstream dams is one of the pillars of Vale’s principles of guaranteeing that collapses such as the one in Brumadinho will not be repeated,” the firm said in a statement.
The Barragem 5 dike has not received tailings since 2000 and is one of 23 structures that will be made to comply with current federal and state safety regulations for dams.
(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo; writing by Gabriel Araujo; editing by Jason Neely)