The de-characterization work for Dam 2 of the Pontal System, located at Cauê Mine, in Itabira (MG) began in March of this year, Vale reported. The structure is expected to be decommissioned in 2023, a year ahead of schedule. The anticipation is the result of advances in the development of project engineering and preparatory works. At the end of the year, with the completion of the works, Pontal Dam 2 will be one of the 13 raised structures upstream of the company eliminated in Brazil since 2019 and the sixth uncharacterized structure in the municipality.

Pontal Dam 2 is currently at level 1 of the Emergency Action Plan for Mining Dams (PAEBM). The Pontal System is monitored continuously by the Geotechnical Monitoring Center (CMG), in addition to undergoing routine inspections by internal and external teams.

The elimination of structures of this type in Brazil is one of Vale’s main actions to prevent ruptures like the one in Brumadinho from happening again and is part of a process of change in the company’s dam management since 2019. The works are complex, bring risks and, therefore, the solutions are customized for each structure and are being carried out cautiously, with priority, always, on people’s safety, risk reduction and care for the environment.

Since 2019, around BRL 5.8 billion ($1.2 billion) has been invested in Vale’s De-characterization Program. In 2022 alone, five structures were completely remediated. In total, of the 30 that use the construction method with heightening upstream, 40% have already been eliminated, which is equivalent to 12 structures (nine in Minas Gerais – five in Itabira – and three in Pará).