Samarco evacuates workers after mudslide at Brazil’s devastated mine site

27 January 2016 (Last Updated January 27th, 2016 18:30)

Samarco has evacuated workers following a mudslide at the mine site where the Fundão tailings dam burst in November 2015 claiming the lives of at least 17 people.

Abrolhos

Samarco has evacuated workers following a mudslide at the mine site where the Fundão tailings dam burst in November 2015 claiming the lives of at least 17 people.

According to Samarco, a joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton, the mudslide occurred due to rains and involved residual mud left in the area.

The company informed the civil defence authorities of Mariana and Barra Longa regarding the incident.

Samarco said in a statement: "The displaced volume remains between the dam of Fundão and Santarém, within the areas of Samarco.

"The company reaffirms that the structures of the dams in Germano and Santarém remain stable based on continuous monitoring."

Separately, the company said that the turbidity plume flowing from the Doce River did not reach the waters of the Abrolhos archipelago, in the south of Bahia.

"The company reaffirms that the structures of the dams in Germano and Santarém remain stable based on continuous monitoring."

ALS Corplab, which analysed the water samples collected from the area, revealed that there was no change in local sea waters related to the Fundão dam accident.

The lab tests did not show iron oxide, which would be one of the elements that may be linked to the Doce River turbidity plume.

The plume comprises of water and solid particles of iron oxides and silica (sand) or quartz, all of which are generated by the iron ore beneficiation process.

Samarco's daily monitoring found that the turbidity found at the beaches in the north of Espírito Santo and the south of Bahia, are normal.


Image: Abrolhos archipelago in the south of the State of Bahia. Photo: courtesy of Samarco.