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Independent report confirms decrease in Dam I water level

The report identified a gradual reduction over 2018 and beginning of 2019

​A report presented today (February 12) by experts of IBPTech, a company based in Sao Paulo, confirms that there has been no rise in the water level at the Dam I, in the Córrego do Feijão mine, in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais. On the contrary, it identified a gradual reduction over 2018 and beginning of 2019. During a press conference at Vale's headquarters, the Finance and Investor Relations executive director Luciano Siani Pires and the executive manager of Ferrous Metals and Coal Planning and Development Lúcio Cavalli presented the results from the dam monitoring study as well as other detailed technical information.

Siani said that Vale has been collaborating actively with the authorities and it is fully committed to clarify the causes of the breach. "We've hired a new panel of independent experts from the United States, Australia and Canada to help verify the facts. But we can say that the narrative about the rise of water levels at Dam I and that the emergency siren could have been triggered prior to the breach does not hold up to the facts presented," he said.

According to IBPTech's report, dated February 9, 2019, Vale learned on January 21 that measurements from 4 of the 46 automated piezometers (that measure the water pressure) installed in the dam had configuration issues. After the issue was rectified, all info from the 46 piezometers were correct, said the report. In other words, it was misreading of data.

 "Piezometers monitor the health of a dam. In the case of the Dam I, they had been showing a decrease in the water level inside the structure, and that was stated in the report prepared by TÜV SÜD in September 2018. Therefore, according to the report, the Dam I was certified as stable with a safety factor above what's recommended by law," said Cavalli.


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