A Brazilian court has ordered Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore miner, to suspend operations at two more dams. The court demanded the company to prove the structures are stable, as part of a series of such orders forcing Vale to halt operations, following an accident in the company’s facilities in January that killed about 300 people.
On 25 January, Vale’s dam collapsed releasing a huge mudslide that killed hundreds of people and forced dozens out of their homes, in the town of Brumadinho. Since then, Vale has faced growing pressure to prove that its remaining dams are safe. The fatal disaster was the second of its kind in four years in the region.
In a statement, the miner said that the latest suspension, impacting its Minervino and Cordao Nova Vista dams, will not have a significant impact on its operations, Reuters reported. It said that mining waste was already being shipped to “other structures,” which it did not identify.
The restrictions to Vale operations in Brazil seem to have impacted shipments, something that was not clear in the first weeks after the disaster in Brumadinho. According to trade ministry data released on Monday, Brazil’s iron ore shipments for the first two weeks of March were 1.29 million tonnes per day on average.
Shipments in February averaged 1.44 million tonnes per day while in March 2018 they averaged 1.42 million tonnes, according to Reuters.
The company informed of another a court order to suspend activities also at Ouro Preto dam, Friday.