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Court orders Vale to halt tailings disposal at eight Minas Gerais dams, Brucutu mine activity to stop

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Court orders Vale to halt tailings disposal at eight Minas Gerais dams, Brucutu mine activity to stop

Sao Paulo — A Minas Gerais state civil court ordered Brazil's Vale to refrain from disposing of tailings at eight dams that are part of its Southeastern system following the fatal collapse of a dam at its Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine.

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The decision includes Laranjeiras dam, which serves company's Brucutu mine, the largest in the state, the company said Monday.

Stopping use of the Laranjeiras dam will halt activity at the 30 million mt/year Brucutu mine.

The court ruling came after an injunction was filed by the public prosecutor in Minas Gerais state.

The affected dams are Laranjeiras, Menizes II, Capitao do Mato, Dique B., Taquaras, Forquilha I, Forquilha II and Forquilha III.

According the company, Forquilhas I, II and III were already out of action and part of a decommissioning plan. The three dams were built using the upstream methodology, the same as was used for the Corrego do Feijao mine dam.

"All the dams are duly licensed and have valid stability certificates," the company said, adding that it believes there is no technical basis or risk assessment that justifies the decision.

Vale will take all the legal measures necessary, said the company.

The Corrego do Feijao mine's No. 1 tailings dam collapsed on January 25, leaving at least 110 dead and up to 138 people missing.

-- Jose Guerra, jose.guerra@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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