Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
September 3, 2020updated 04 Sep 2020 3:07am

Brazil’s new bill tightens safety rules for upstream mining dams

Brazil’s Senate has passed a new bill that introduces tighter rules regulating the safety and inspection of dams in the mining industry across the country.

Brazil’s Senate has passed a new bill that introduces tighter rules regulating the safety and inspection of dams in the mining industry across the country.

The bill sets fines of up to R$1bn ($187m) if the mining companies fail to comply with it, Reuters reported.

The law reinforces the prohibition of the use of upstream dams for tailings ponds, like the one that collapsed at Vale-operated mine in Brumadinho last year.

On 25 January 2019, the dam, which is located near the Córrego do Feijão iron mine, collapsed causing a mudslide to hit the town of Brumadinho.

This incident is considered one of the worst environmental disasters in Brazilian history, with 84 people confirmed dead and around 270 still missing.

The disaster led to the Brazilian Government banning the construction of new upstream mining dams in February 2019. In July of the same year, Vale agreed to pay compensation to the families of the victims.

Reuters quoted senator Antonio Anastasia as stating: “Dams of this type will have until February 2022 to be de-commissioned and changed under a security and demobilisation plan.”

The latest bill also prohibits the construction of any tailings dams close to communities within 10km distance or a 30-minute drive below the tailings dam.

In July, the Ecuadorian Government introduced new and tighter rules regulating the construction and operation of mining waste dams to avoid disasters similar to the one in Brazil in January last year at a Vale-operated site.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Vale said it failed to meet safety standard levels for three dams in Minas Gerais state, adding it did not see any impact on the production of iron ore this year.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The mining industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU