Minas Gerais rejects Vale’s $3.97bn dam disaster settlement offer

19 November 2020 (Last Updated November 19th, 2020 10:29)

The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has rejected Vale’s settlement offer of approximately R$21bn ($3.97bn) after a deadly dam disaster in January last year, saying that the amount is too low.

Minas Gerais rejects Vale’s $3.97bn dam disaster settlement offer
Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine, Brumadinho, Minas Gerais in Brazil. Credit: Ibama from Brasil.

The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has rejected Vale’s settlement offer of approximately R$21bn ($3.97bn) after a deadly dam disaster in January last year, saying that the amount is too low.

Following a meeting with between authorities and Vale about the Brumadinho dam burst, Minas Gerais secretary-general Mateus Simoes told journalists that the amount, as well as some of the terms offered by the company, were opposed.

The dam collapse at Córrego do Feijão mine unleashed a mudslide on the local town of Brumadinho. When the incident took place, around 430 people were working in the mine.

The incident is believed to have claimed the lives of 270 people.

Simoes was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The value is still far from what we expect. We also don’t agree with some terms set by Vale.”

A further meeting is set to be held next month with a focus on terms rather than values, Simoes added.

The values that are involved in the negotiations have not been disclosed by Vale, which plans to continue to ‘have a constructive dialogue’ with authorities.

Separately, Vale has announced that it started the Level 2 emergency protocol for the Norte / Laranjeiras dam, of the Brucutu mine, in the municipality of Barão de Cocais, MG as a preventive measure.

As part of this, around 34 people residing within the dam’s Self-Rescue Zone will be evacuated within the next few days.

Vale said in a statement: “Vale adopts this measure in line with the monitoring of the safety conditions of its structures and maintains a geotechnical investigation campaign in order to define the actions for their continuous improvement.”