Brazil reinforces tailings dams inspections

Bnamericas Published: Monday, February 06, 2023
Brazil reinforces tailings dams inspections

Brazil’s mining regulator ANM will add 40 tailings dams inspectors to its task force in March.

“We are talking about progress in integrated actions in favor of responsible mining, which respects the environment, legal safety mechanisms and, above all, the lives of people who work and live near mined areas. We know that mining is very important for the country, but it needs to be done responsibly,” mines and energy minister Alexandre Silveira said in a press release.

In 2015 and 2019, tailings dams collapsed in the municipalities of Mariana and Brumadinho in Minas Gerais state, causing 300 deaths and environmental damage.

"Mariana and Brumadinho had a strong impact on mining globally. We are moving quickly toward the ESG concept across the globe and it will be necessary for mining companies to review their concepts," Pedro Galdi, mining and metals equity analyst at Mirae Asset Wealth Management, told BNamericas. 

"The costs of an accident will become ever greater, which justifies the expenses of mining companies, as well as the agency in supervising whether companies are complying with the rules," added Galdi.

A December report by ANM showed that of the 461 dams covered by the dam safety policy 316 (68.5%) were not at risk, but 87 (18.8%) were at medium and 58 (12.5%) at high risk.

Brazil has 911 mining dams overall. Authorities increase monitoring during wet season, between December and March.

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