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Vale begins work on the first of five dams to be eliminated in 2022

40% of the company's upstream structures will be eliminated by the end of this year. De-characterization process has just started at Dike 4, of the Pontal System, in Itabira (MG)

Vale started the works to eliminate the first of five upstream structures planned to be de-characterized and reintegrated into the environment this year alone. As a result, the company expects to end 2022 with 40% of its structures of this type eliminated. This means that 12 of the 30 dams mapped will already be de-characterized. Work begins this Monday (7th) on Dike 4 of the Pontal dam, in Itabira.

The de-characterization of all upstream dams is one of the pillars of the principle of guaranteeing the non-repetition of dam collapses such as the one in Brumadinho, with the safety of people, workers and the environment as top priority.

Since 2019, seven upstream structures - four in Minas Gerais and three in Pará - have been eliminated, out of the 30 mapped, practically 25% of the company's De-characterization Program. For 2022, the company expects to complete the de-characterization of dykes 3 and 4 of the Pontal System and Ipoema dam, in Itabira (MG), the Baixo João Pereira Dam, in Congonhas (MG), and the Auxiliary Dike of Dam 5, in Nova Lima (MG).

Dike 4 of the Pontal System, in Itabira (MG), is one of five upstream structures planned to be eliminated in 2022

At the same time and in line with international best practices for dam management, the company has intensified preventive, corrective and monitoring actions in its structures, advancing towards the goal of having no dam in critical condition (emergency level 3) by 2025. These actions also increase safety in the upstream structures that will be eliminated until the preparatory and engineering steps for de-characterization are completed.

The elimination of upstream dams is part of the cultural transformation process that the company has been going through since the Brumadinho dam collapse. In Brazil, the de-characterization is also one of the main milestones in the evolution of Vale's dam management model with three lines of defense focused primarily on the safety of structures and people who live nearby. The model is in line with the Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management (GISTM), which establishes requirements for the safe management of tailings disposal facilities and aims to avoid any harm to people and the environment.

Vale, as a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), has made a public commitment to be 100% compliant with the 77 GISTM requirements in all its tailings disposal facilities by 2025.

Completely suited to GISTM and without emergency level 3 structures, the company plans to end 2025 with a new and higher level of safety in its operations.

Operations in Itabira will close 2022 with half of 10 upstream structures eliminated

Birthplace of Vale in the country and the city that had the largest number of structures upstream of the company, operations in Itabira (MG) will reach the end of 2022 safer and with half of the 10 structures eliminated in the municipality alone. Two (Dyke 5 of the Pontal dam and the Rio do Peixe dike) have already been de-characterized and, for this year, three more are expected to be completed: Dike 4, whose works started this Monday (7), and dyke 3, both from the Pontal System, in addition to the Ipoema Dam.

For the other upstream structures in the municipality, the preliminary activities for the elimination of Dike 2 of the Pontal System and of dikes 1A and 1B, at the Conceição mine, have already started and the containment structure that will increase safety for the construction phase of the Minervino and Cordão Nova Vista dikes, which are also part of the Pontal System, should be completed this year.

The de-characterization of Dike 4 is expected to be completed in 2022, when it will no longer have the function of retaining tailings and will be reintegrated into the environment. In view of the increase in risks during the works, a reinforcement was built preventively to give greater stability to the structure, an action completed in January. The works will take place in the company's internal area and all material and equipment transport will use internal accesses, without affecting local roads. The tailings removed will be sent to a properly prepared area within the Pontal System itself.

The works on Dike 4 should generate around 120 jobs, including direct and outsourced workers, with more than 80% of the local workforce, which contributes to the generation of jobs and income in the municipality of Itabira itself. Dike 4 has not received tailings since 2014 and is at emergency level 1. The structure has about 3.7 million cubic meters of tailings. There are no residents or communities within the Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS).

The dike and the company's other geotechnical structures in Itabira are permanently monitored by the Geotechnical Monitoring Center (CMG). The entire process is monitored by Organs regulatory bodies and by the technical audit of the Public Prosecutor's Office.


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