Slope in Vale mine starts to slide in Barão de Cocais

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Mining giant Vale announced today (May 31) that part of the northern slope of the Gongo Soco mine, in Barão de Cocais, Minas Gerais, has detached itself during the night. According to the State Civil Defense, there are no signs that the incident could have caused damage to the dam structure.

In a note, Vale said that the fragments of the slope slid into the bottom of the pit, adding that the first assessments indicate that the material is sliding gradually, which should lead to “no major consequences.”

“The pit as well as the Sul Superior dam, 1.5 km from the mine, are still being remotely monitored 24 hours a day, through radar and a robot station capable of detecting the subtlest activities, in addition to drone flights. The dam has been at level 3 [risk] since March 22 and the Self-Saving Zone had been precautiously evacuated on February 8,” Vale said, adding it is providing all the necessary information to the authorities and the local population.

Major Marcos Pereira, of the state’s Civil Defense, said the “slippage” of a small section of the slope caused no significant alteration in the structure, so there was no need to ring the alarm sirens. “It’s natural settling which does not pose risks to the local security at first,” he told Agência Brasil.

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