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Vale employee smiling in green landscape. She is wearing a green Vale
uniform, goggles, helmet and ear plugs. Visual wave artifact Vale
A person wearing gloves is taking water from a river.
Photographer: Vale's Archive
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Photographer: Vale's Archive

Our priority is to carry out actions aimed at recovering the area impacted by the collapse of Dam B1, in Brumadinho.

It is our duty and our priority to carry out actions aimed at the environmental recovery of the entire area affected by the collapse of Dam B1, in Brumadinho. 

This page is being updated. Soon, you will have access to all the content about Vale's environmental reparation.

To this end, we remain committed to carrying out actions to monitor local biodiversity, such as water, soil and animals, in addition to carrying out activities aimed at the revegetation of affected areas. 

We are also committed to ensuring quality water for populations that depended on abstraction from the Paraopeba River.  
A person, wearing a hat, a mask, a vest and gloves, is holding a glass jar with water taken from a river in one hand, and with the other hand, he is taking a photo of the vessel. A person, wearing a hat, a mask, a vest and gloves, is holding a glass jar with water taken from a river in one hand, and with the other hand, he is taking a photo of the vessel. Photographer: Vale's Archive
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Explore the studied area

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Discover our areas of activity:

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On a tree branch, there are five parrots. Behind them, it is possible to see a grid.

Biodiversity monitoring

In a vegetation area, a man wearing a cap, a face mask, a vest and gloves is holding a fish.

Aquatic biodiversity

In a vegetation area,, two women are face to face talking, one of them is holding a clipboard in her hands, and the other is fiddling with a tree.

Terrestrial biodiversity

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Botanical Monitoring 

Vale female employee, wearing a protective mask, is in the middle of a plantation. She has her hands under a plant, looking carefully.

Recovery of plant species

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The activities are being carried out in full compliance with the legislation and are monitored through meetings, field visits and reports by various public bodies. No action is taken without the authorization of the competent institutions.
Image of a river with dark waters. There is dense vegetation besides. Image of a river with dark waters. There is dense vegetation besides.

Fotógrafo: Ricardo Teles

Paraopeba river water quality 

The restoration of the Paraopeba River is one of the main commitments of our environmental reparation work.

Since the reparation of Dam B1, in Brumadinho, in addition to the monthly monitoring carried out by the Minas Gerais Water Management Institute (Igam), we have monitored the quality of the waters of the Paraopeba River and its tributaries. The data obtained from the monitoring works is periodically delivered to inspection bodies and to the Public Presecution Office of Minas Gerais. 

Discover all the monitoring points that exist today 

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How is monitoring done? 

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Ícone representando duas gotas de água um tubo de ensaio Ícone representando três tubos de ensaio Ícone representando um recipiente com água e uma régua medindo a profundidade Ícone representando uma lupa e algumas moléculas ao fundo

What are the results obtained so far? 

  • Since May 2019, the Paraopeba River has not received tailings loading; 
     
  • The tailings did not reach the São Francisco River. The impacts on water quality were identified up to the limit with the Retiro Baixo Hydroelectric Power Plant, in Pompéu (MG);
     
  • No impacts were detected on the waters of the Três Marias Hydroelectric Power Plant reservoir, as demonstrated in studies by environmental agencies;
     
  • The turbidity levels and the total metals, Manganese, Iron and Aluminum, are progressively reducing during the dry period, and statistical trend tests prove an improvement in the water quality of the affected regions.
A man, wearing a hat, a mask, goggles, gloves and a vest, is inside a boat with several gallons and a case with equipment. A man, wearing a hat, a mask, goggles, gloves and a vest, is inside a boat with several gallons and a case with equipment. Photo: Vale's Archive
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A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

Metal concentration

Since January 2019, a complete list of metals has been analyzed in water and sediment samples from the Paraopeba River, main tributaries and also in points in the reservoirs of the Retiro Baixo and Três Marias Hydroelectric Power Plants.

The presence of metals in water can also be associated with the dissolution of compost from the soil, and the contents of these metals are directly related to the geological composition of the places where water bodies are inserted or discharge of industrial effluents and other human activities.

How to interpret maps

To verify the quality condition of the Paraopeba river stretches, a comparison is made of the monthly maximum result of each parameter with the maximum of the seasonal periods obtained before the disruption by Igam monitoring.

The result of this comparison with the pre-disruption period (called baseline) is graphically represented by colors, ranging from the best result (blue) to the worst (red), as follows:

pre-breakup condition
worst condition
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

Dissolved iron

Total manganese

The Paraopeba river basin crosses the region known as the Iron Quadrangle of Minas Gerais, and records of naturally high concentrations of iron and manganese in the waters are common, even above the quality standards, even in the historical series of data from Igam before the break.

In the monitoring carried out by Vale,   significant results of these metals were identified in stretches more impacted by the input of tailings, with attenuation as we move away from the region where the Ferro-Carvão stream meets the Paraopeba river. The contents of manganese and iron, in total form, show an increase in the rainy season and a reduction in the dry season, and the current condition indicates that the water quality is in a transition phase, with a progressive reduction in concentrations.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

Dissolved aluminum


The analysis of aluminum metal has shown significant concentration levels, which may be associated with the tailings. However, specifically in the stretch of the Paraopeba River after the municipality of Maravilhas, it is observed that natural geological factors influence the increase in the concentration of this element.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

Trace metals

Other metals can also be found in water in much smaller amounts and sporadically, they are called "trace metals". Some analytical results pointed to isolated occurrences of pronounced concentrations for trace metals.

However, for these elements, which are also present in the tailings, the data analyzed currently show that the levels in the Paraopeba River are similar or even lower than those recorded in public databases for the pre-rupture period.

A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

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A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

Turbidity

Turbidity is a basic parameter for assessing water quality, easily influenced by rainfall and related to the transparency and quantity of suspended particles

The presence of suspended solid materials such as clay, organic and inorganic matter, microscopic organisms and algae cause water turbidity.

The origins of these materials can be diverse:

  • River bottom sediments;
  • Soils on the banks and in areas with suppression of vegetation;
  • Mining;
  • Sand removal or clay exploration;
  • Industrial waste;
  • Domestic sewage.

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A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

Understand the difference in water behaviour in the rainy x dry season

Climatic aspects have a relevant influence on water quality. During rainy periods, the water tends to become more turbid, mainly due to the carrying of materials from the banks and the resuspension of sediments from the bottom of the river. On the other hand, in periods of drought (drought), the rivers present reduced flow, low flow velocity and less resuspension of sediments, resulting in better measurements of some parameters.

Regarding the Paraopeba River, we can say that, in periods of drought, the water quality approaches the conditions prior to the break.

The joint analysis of the dissolved aluminum, dissolved iron and total manganese parameters shows that there is a progressive reduction in the concentration of these parameters, indicating recovery close to the conditions of a class 2 river in periods of drought.

During the rainy season, the water quality worsens, as has happened in the past. The increase in the concentration of some of these parameters such as aluminum, iron, manganese and turbidity may be related to the suspension of the material deposited on the riverbed and the new contributions caused by natural soil materials in the region, or due to other activities historically carried out in the region.

The evaluation of the water quality of the Paraopeba River and its tributaries continues to show results that indicate the  reduction of several physicochemical parameters, regardless of the influence of climatic factors.

Monitoring in numbers

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About 90 monitoring points.

14 telemetric stations installed for continuous monitoring.

6.5 million results from water, soil and sediment.

More than 53,000 samples collected.

About 250 professionals involved in this process.

A lady is using a hose to water a vegetable garden. There are several trees around. A lady is using a hose to water a vegetable garden. There are several trees around.

Photographer: Ricardo Teles

Water supply

After the collapse of Dam B1, in Brumadinho, the use of water from the Paraopeba River was interrupted and Vale assumed a commitment, together with the competent public bodies, to ensure the water supply of all affected municipalities.

For this, we carry out corrective actions (aimed at animal consumption, agricultural irrigation and human consumption) and preventive actions (to ensure water security and adequacy in public supply).

So far, Vale has provided a flow rate of: 

204,060,040

L/day for public supply 

Volume of mineral water supplied to communities 

19,306,838

million liters 

Volume of water made available by drilled wells 

2,384,773,800

of liters 

In a total of: 

3,586,476,649

Liters 
Two pipes are pouring high amounts of water into a space lined with black tarp.

Photographer: Vale's Archive

Discover the actions being carried out 

The action seeks to ensure quality water for the population living in the areas between Brumadinho and the Três Marias reservoir.
Among the initiatives for preventive actions, there is the installation of a containment barrier that surrounds the Bela Fama water withdrawal, in Nova Lima. The barrier is about 3 meters high and 300 meters long and its works were completed in December 2019. 
We are developing projects to ensure that the water demand of RMBH corresponds to 15,000 l/s. 
The Commitment Agreement also includes the preparation of the project for a treated water pipeline with approximately 30 km in length. It will connect two reservoirs (R10-R13), increasing the transfer between the Paraopeba and Velhas river water systems.  
We are also developing studies and projects for the implementation of a new water withdrawal in the Velhas river, in the Ponte de Arame region.  
The scope also includes water withdrawal in Ribeirão da Prata, which includes run-of-river water withdrawal and a 9 km pipeline to the ETA Bela Fama.

Do you want more information about the public supply schedule via water trucks? 
To learn more about requesting the supply of drinking water via water trucks, call the Call Center: 0800 031 0831. 

The data obtained from the monitoring works is periodically delivered to inspection agencies and to the Public Presecution Office of Minas Gerais. 

To discover the official technical results, visit our transparency area
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Fotógrafo: