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Vale delays Brucutu restart after court orders stoppage of 13 dams

A Brazilian court required Vale SA to suspend 13 dams in a decision that delayed the restart of its Brucutu iron ore mine, the company's biggest mine in the state of Minas Gerais.

Vale on March 19 was allowed to resume operations at Brucutu, which has a yearly capacity of 30 million tonnes, after production was halted in February amid a clampdown on the miner following the deadly Feijao dam disaster.

The company announced March 21 that it would restart operations at Brucutu shortly after receiving approval from the State Agency for Environment and Sustainable Development.

However, the March 22 decision of the Court of Santa Bárbara covers the Sul dam, which receives discharges from the concentration plant at Brucutu. The company did not provide a timeline on the mine's restart.

Vale is also ordered to halt operations at the Paracatu containment dike, Lavra Azul containment dike, Dicão Leste dam, Mosquito dam, Cobras containment dike, Sabiá dam, B3, Estrada de São Gonçalo dike, Principal dam, Captação dam, Pocilga dam and Athayde dam.

The company said operations at other mines will not be affected.