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  • In September, Vale reported that more than 430 families lived in hotels or houses rented by the company

    In September, Vale reported that more than 430 families lived in hotels or houses rented by the company | Photo: teleSUR

Published 8 December 2019

According to the mining company linked to two recent incidents with fatalities, the return to homes, in most cases, would take years.

The Brazilian media said on Sunday that hundreds of families were evacuated away from their homes because four dams from the mining company VALE are in great risk of collapse.

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According to the mining company, returning the families to their homes can take years because occupation of certain regions should only occur after dams at alert level three descend to one.

The alert level three is described as imminent risk of rupture while alert level one is just the appearance of anomalies.

This reduction of collapse risk can occur during the de-characterization of the dam, a process that will take between three-to-five years, depending on the case.

"Vale's objective is that all dams and dikes with the upstream elevation method be de-characterized or have an adequate safety factor, in a period of at least three years," the corporation said.

They also explained that the communities located in the self-rescue zone will remain evacuated as long as the alert level of the structure is at two or three.

In September, Vale reported that more than 430 families lived in hotels or houses rented by the company, which is also responsible for maintaining benefits, according to the agreements signed for each place.

In Barão de Cocais, for example, it guarantees emergency payments to people removed from their homes, for amounts that imply a minimum wage per adult, half a minimum wage per teenager and a quarter of the minimum wage per child.

 These loans are initially insured for one year and cannot be deducted from the individual indemnities that will be calculated in the future.

The mining company Vale is linked to two incidents related to the upstream lifting method, both in the state of Minas Gerais.

In 2015, nineteen people were killed by the collapse of a warehouse in the municipality of Mariana, and in January of this year, a new rupture caused the death of more than 250 people, this time in the municipality of Brumadinho.

Four days after the second tragedy, Vale, the world's largest producer and exporter of iron, promised to de-characterize nine dams using the upstream lifting method, including four that are at alert level three.

On the other hand, the mining company promised to expand the use of dry processing, which does not involve the use of water and, therefore, does not use dams.

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