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Brazil: Operations at iron mine to resume, contingent on BHP & Vale safeguarding against another fatal dam collapse

"Vale, BHP's Samarco gets license to resume operations after dam burst", 25 October 2019

Samarco, a joint venture between Vale…and BHP Group,…[has] won permission to resume operations at their Germano iron ore mine…roughly four years after a fatal dam collapse there. Vale said…it expected production at the joint venture…to resume toward the end of 2020. Resumption will be contingent on a [new] filtration system – which will take about a year to build – [allowing]… “dry stacking” technology to dispose of mining waste, replacing the previous tailings dam-based system. The mine…once produced nearly 25 million tonnes of…ore a year…[but] it will restart at an annual rate of less than a third of that…with [the] potential of increase[ing]…within...six years.

The Samarco…venture signed a deal with state and local authorities in March 2016 to create a foundation to oversee the clean-up…after the disaster,…spen[ding] over [R$6 billion]…but some victims have complained about the pace of rebuilding efforts. Vale on Friday reported weaker-than-expected earnings nine months after another fatal mine accident which has sparked a renewed effort by the company to dismantle its most dangerous tailings dams.

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