A report seen by Wall Street Journal shows that a report raised concerns about the dam that collapsed at Vale’s Corrego de Feijao iron ore mine in Brumadinho last Friday.
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GE understands that the report from Germany-based consultancy Tuev Sued identified problems with the dam’s drainage infrastructure and faulty monitoring systems.
In the September report, Tuev Sued told Vale some of the systems used to monitor water levels in the tailings pond were faulty. The report also found that parts of the drainage system were clogged with vegetation or damaged due to trampling by livestock.
Tuev Sued is also reported to have said there were little or no records relating to the construction of the 43 year old dam – including its foundations – prior to Vale’s purchase of the structure in 2001. It added that the flaws in the monitoring system and drainage systems made it difficult to access the dam’s safety.
Vale has said that it followed up recommendations made in the report and fitted 130 monitoring devices to the dam following the inspection.
Vale has said that it continuously invests in the maintenance and safety of its dams with “standards being updated and in continuous alignment with the most rigorous international practices”. The company has also said that its BRL256M (£53M) investment in dam management this year will be almost three times what it invested in 2015.