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Vale 'knew collapsed dam was at risk', says report

February 13, 2019 5:22 am

The owner of a mining dam that collapsed in Brazil last month, killing 165, knew it was at a heightened risk of failure, Reuters claims in a report.

According to an internal report seen by the news agency, Vale was aware the Minas Gerais dam breached internal safety guidelines in October.

Vale, the world’s top iron ore miner, said the report was misleading as there was no evidence of imminent risk.

Vale previously said the dam was ruled safe by an independent auditor.

“There is no known report, audit or study with any mention of an imminent risk of collapse at Dam 1 in the Córrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho,” it said in a statement.

“To the contrary, the dam had all its certificates of safety and stability attested to by local and foreign specialists.”

The incident at Brumadinho dam is Brazil’s deadliest mining disaster, with many workers still unaccounted for and with some 300 people feared dead.

It was the second major mining disaster in the region since 2015, when a nearby dam co-owned by Vale collapsed.