Slope of Vale’s Gongo Soco mine remains unstable

Mar, 09, 2020 Posted by datamarnews

Week 202011

On Monday March 9, Vale informed that the northern slope of the Gongo Soco Mine, located in Barão de Cocais (MG) and paralyzed since 2016, continues to slide into the structure.  This process has been taking place gradually since last year, and was communicated to the market on May 16, 2019.

According to the company, its teams continue to monitor and report to the competent authorities the movements in the primary and secondary portions of the northern slope of the pit and assess the possibility and extent of impacts in the event of new detachments, as well as impacts of any vibration on the Sul Superior dam, approximately 1.5 km away from the embankment area. The pit and the dam are monitored remotely 24 hours a day, using radar and a robotic station capable of detecting movements to the millimeter, and also by overhead drones and by the Geotechnical Monitoring Center.

According to the company, the Sul Superior dam has been at level 3 since March 22, 2019 and the Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) had already been preventively evacuated on February 8, 2019. Since then, preventive measures have been taken, including emergency drills with residents of the Secondary Security Zone (ZSS).

The company also reported that it has already completed the construction of the waste containment structure located 6 km from the Sul Superior dam and that the effectiveness of the containment is still subject to verification by the competent authorities. The design of the structure followed international technical criteria and aims to retain 100% of the volumes of the South Superior and Lower South dams in a hypothetical extreme rupture scenario, preventing waste from reaching the Secondary Safety Zone of the municipalities of Barão de Cocais, Santa Bárbara and São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo.

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