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Vale clarifies on the Gongo Soco mine


As soon as a movement was detected on the northern slope of a pit at the Gongo Soco mine in Barão de Cocais, Minas Gerais, paralyzed since 2016, Vale immediately informed the competent authorities and has taken a series of necessary measures to update the region’s population about the situation in the pit and at the Sul Superior dam, which is approximately 1.5 km from the mine area.

It should be noted that there are no technical elements so far that point towards an eventual slide of the northern slope of the Gongo Soco Mine, which could act as a trigger for a breach of the Sul Superior Dam. Even so, Vale is reinforcing the alert and readiness level for a worst-case breach scenario.

Additionally, following a recommendation from the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Minas Gerais, Vale will ramp-up the dissemination of information on local radio and through the distribution of leaflets. Also, a new evacuation simulation will be held this Saturday, May 18, at 3pm to reinforce the training the population of Barão de Cocais previously received. The simulation will be conducted by the Civil Defense, with the support of teams from Vale.

Vale have also used mass media to publicize the situation at the Gongo Soco mine. National and regional press releases have also been issued, information was posted on company social networks (including sponsored posts to increase visibility of information in potentially affected regions), and reports sent to WhatsApps groups of the ZAS and ZSS communities.

The alert level of the Sul Superior Dam was raised to 2 on February 8. Since then, Vale has been maintaining contact with communities, local governments, civil defenses, companies and other competent bodies in the region. The company carried out an emergency simulation with residents of the Secondary Safety Zone (ZSS) of the municipalities of Barão de Cocais (25/3), Santa Bárbara (29/3) and São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo (3/4). Seven Help Centers have been created in Barão de Cocais and are operating 24 hours a day.

Vale reiterates its commitment to the region’s residents and will keep them informed about the next actions and events that involve their safety. The pit and the dam are monitored 24 hours a day.

Actions previously undertaken

The Sul Superior Dam has been at alert level 3 since March 22. On February 8, about 400 people from the dam’s Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) - communities of Piteiras, Socorro, Tabuleiro and Vila do Gongo - had been relocated as a preventative measure and were accommodated in temporary housing rented by Vale, consisting of hotels, regional guest houses, friend’s houses etc., whilst respecting each family’s preference

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