Vale to repair damage following Brumadinho disaster anniversary

Former Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman in a helicopter overlooking the breach. Image: Vale

Vale has reserved $R24.1 billion ($8.4 billion) for reparation actions and indemnities due to the 2019 Brumadinhno dam collapse in Brazil.

The company’s number one priority is to finish the search for 11 people still missing.

To date, 259 victims have been identified, 123 of which were Vale employees, 117 were third-party employees, plus 19 local residents.

“Vale’s focus in Brumadinho is and always will be the assistance to people,” the company stated in a media release.

“The company remains committed to implement measures that will restore the routine of families directly or indirectly affected by the dam breach.

“The goal is to repair the damage caused through social and environmental initiatives that will recover the affected municipalities, gearing efforts towards close dialogue with communities and the government.”

Vale’s Family Referral Program has been monitoring almost 600 families of people directly affected by the breach to ensure they are emotionally supported at this time.

The company is bearing the costs of provisional housing for some 100 affected residents as well as transferring $R32 million exclusively for health and psychological care expansions.

It has also launched a pilot project for environmental recovery of areas impacted by the dam breach to re-establish the original conditions of the Ferro-Carvão stream, revegetate forest areas and recover the Paraopeba river.

This river recovery consists of tailings containment and water treatment, with Vale having already treated and returned 5.5 billion litres of water to the river with two water treatment plants.

Vale started constructing a water pipeline system in October last year, which was expected to provide a water flow rate of a million litres per hour and complete by July.

It has also assisted with the care of 865 local domestic and wild animals affected by the disaster, with 340 already having been adopted, returned to guardians or natural habitat.

News of these reparation actions came out a year since the Brumadinho disaster occurred at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil.