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Vale ordered to halt Timbopeba iron mine ops in Brazil

A Brazilian court ordered Vale SA to stop operations at its Timbopeba iron ore mine in Minas Gerais state, dealing another blow to the embattled mining giant that has been under increased scrutiny following the deadly dam burst at its Feijao mine.

Vale said March 16 that it was also ordered to stop using the Doutor dam that receives tailings from Timbopeba, which produces 12.8 million tons of iron ore per year.

The company noted that the National Mining Agency recently verified the dam's stability, and that no evacuation of the local population is required.

A daily fine of 500,000 Brazilian reais will be imposed in case of noncompliance. The company said it will follow the order and adopt appropriate measures.

Vale had been ordered to halt activities at the Fabrica and Vargem Grande iron ore complexes, as well as the Brucutu mine, all located in Minas Gerais.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported March 16 that Brazilian prosecutors ordered Vale to guarantee funds of 50 billion reais for environmental recovery efforts after the Feijao dam collapse.

As of March 15, US$1 was equivalent to 3.81 Brazilian reais.