Brazil regulator says Vale failed to provide correct information about dam

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil mining regulator ANM on Tuesday criticized iron ore miner Vale SA (VALE3.SA) for failing to disclose problems with its Brumadinho tailings dam before its deadly collapse in January, saying better information could have allowed it to demand emergency measures. The dam collapse flooded a nearby company canteen and the surrounding countryside with mining waste and killing more than 250 people. It was Vale’s second fatal mining accident in less than four years. The regulator said it started finding red flags soon after the dam collapse. Technicians visited the mine and found that some important data in Vale’s internal inspection system did not match the data previously inserted in the regulator’s risk management system. It added that based on the report’s findings, the ANM will now assess the iron ore miner with 24 new fines, adding that it will forward the report to prosecutors and other investigative organs probing Vale’s conduct related to the dam burst. Vale said in a statement that it planned to analyze the regulator’s report but it was unable to comment on technical decisions taken by its “geotechnical team” at the time. “All the available information about the history of the state of conservation of the dam was provided to the authorities who are investigating the case,” the company said, adding that it was awaiting the completion of the various investigations underway into the cause of the dam burst.

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