Access glossary about dams
What actions have already been taken by Vale?
Vale's help centers set up in Brumadinho shortly after the dam breach continue
offering humanitarian assistance for those affected. There, community situation and
demands are evaluated and received by expert teams in charge of ensuring medical,
psychological and social care, channeling them to temporary housing, water supply,
How are the families of the victims getting assistance?
Assistance by phone is being provided by the Service Center – 0800 031 0831.
In-person services are taking place at five help centers.
Click here for the addresses and service hours of each center.
Is Vale offering psychological support to the families of the victims?
Yes. Vale hired a specialized team from the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo to
assist the families of those affected by the incident. The team comprising experts
trauma, grief and disaster joined the 100 health professionals of the company that
are currently working on the site.
Did Vale provide transportation to the families of the victims?
Yes. Vale has offered transport for the families of those affected. The company has
transported families, listed by social assistants, from and to Brumadinho, Forensic
Medical Institute (IML, Instituto Médico Legal), hotels, as well as funeral venues.
In addition, Vale maintained the transport from and to Brumadinho, Córrego do
Feijão, Casa Branca ,and Cantagalo until paving works are done. All clarifications
on the construction works are made during meetings with the communities.
In addition, Vale is also offering transportation between Brumadinho Córrego do
Branca, and between Córrego do Feijão e Cantagalo. Transportation is available daily
including Saturdays and Sundays - at the
following departure times:
|From: Casa Branca
To: Casa Branca
What kind of financial support did Vale offer to the families of the affected
Vale has taken measures to provide financial support for the affected families. The
affected families, rural producers, and traders received emergency donations. In
addition, more than 100,000 people are currently receiving labor and individual
indemnities and emergency compensation.
How could the families of those affected apply for financial aid?
Currently, more than 100,000 people are receiving labor and individual indemnities
and emergency compensation. Click here to learn more about the criteria and
guidelines for indemnities request.
What are the differences among indemnities?
Those affected by the breach of Dam I, at Córrego do Feijão mine, in Brumadinho, can
register for two types of indemnities – individual and emergency. Click here
learn more about their differences, who is eligible, and how to request them.
Who was eligible to receive the donation?
Those who were eligible to receive the donation included representatives of Vale
employees, of third-party employees and of the missing and/or deceased members of
the community, as per the official list validated by the Civil Defense. Only one
representative could register to receive the donation, in the following order of
1st – legal guardians of minor children;
2nd – spouse or common-law partner;
3rd – descendants;
4th – ascendants.
Which documents were required for the registration?
Applicants had to present proof of family relationship (according to group, as
below) and their original and updated personal data (full name, ID, social security
date of birth, full address, e-mail, telephone and bank details).
- 1st group: order or letter of custody or guardianship of the children and/or
children’s birth certificates;
- 2nd group: marriage certificate or common-law marriage affidavit;
- 3rd group: proof of affiliation (e.g. birth certificate, passport, ID);
- 4th group: proof of affiliation (e.g. birth certificate, passport, ID).
How the payment was processed?
- For representatives who had bank account:
1) Filled out the registration form at the help center with personal data (full
name, ID, social security number, date of birth, full
e-mail, telephone and bank details) and bank details: bank, bank number, branch
account number – with digits – and type of account (savings or current).
2) Vale reviewed the documents within 48 calendar hours.
3) Vale contacted each applicant to inform the request analysis result.
4) Once the representative meets the eligibility criteria and the account was
the money was available in the informed account within three business days.
- For representatives who didn't have bank account:
1) Filled out the registration form at the Knowledge Center or at the Feijão
Center with personal data (full name, ID, social security number, date of birth,
address, e-mail, and telephone).
2) Vale helped representatives to open their bank accounts. The data entered in
registration was used to open a saving account at Banco do Brasil, through a
3) Vale contacted each applicant to inform the request analysis result and
representative to go to the Banco do Brasil branch in Brumadinho for a biometric
registration that will enables financial transactions.
4) Once the representative complied with the eligibility criteria and the
account was validated by the bank, the money was available in the informed account
within three business days.
Note: representatives could choose to open the account in a bank of his/her
preference. They had to return to the registration venue to inform the bank details
and complete the registration
What else does Vale offer to the relatives of the victims?
According to agreement signed on February 15, Vale undertook to pay the expenses
funerals and severances of the deceased, as per document issued by Brazil's National
Social Security Institute (INSS). The salaries of the uncontacted people were
The company worked for the insurance payment to be done as quickly as possible
submited to Court the list of names and personal data of direct and third-party
employees, as well as documents concerning the workers' health and safety.
Is Vale helping other people affected by the breach of Dam I?
Yes, Vale extended the humanitarian financial aid to those that lived or carried
rural or commercial activities in the Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS, Zona de
Emergency Action Plan for Mining Dams (PAEBM, Plano de Ação de Emergência de
Mineração). Besides this action, Vale is conducting several humanitarian actions
dam breached. The company has mobilized a team of doctors, nurses, social
psychologists and volunteers to assist the population and the families of those
What sort of aid is being given to those affected in the Self-Rescue Zone?
Vale announced two types of donations to the people residing in the Self-Rescue Zone
(ZAS) affected by the dam breach in Brumadinho. The first amounts to R$50,000.00
donation granted to those who lived in the ZAS of the Emergency Action Plan for
Mining Dams. The second type is a R$15,000.00 donation for those who carried out
rural or commercial activities in the ZAS. The donation is cumulative if the person
fits more than one defined category: residence, productive rural activity or
Donation application have already been closed
What is the Self-Rescue Zone?
The Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) comprises the valley downstream of the dam where alert
extending up to 10 km, defined by the Emergency Action Plan for Mining Dams (PAEBM).
How the payments to those affected on the Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) were made
applications were made at the Knowledge Center. The company provided vans to
transport applicants to the
Applications for registration of donations of R$ 15 thousand, R$ 50
thousand and R$ 100,000 had to be previously scheduled by 0800 31 0831.
After the appointment, the service was performed on the date and time set, at
Clube Aurora registration center.
See the addresses of the help centers.
Who was elegible to receive the donation?
Vale considered the three categorie below for the registration of the donation:
- Resident: Only one donation was made per property even if there is more than
sharing. The donation was destined exclusively for those who lived in the property
date of the dam breach, regardless of the ownership. Properties considered for
donation were those in the ZAS.
- Rural Producer: A R$15,000.00 donation was made to each family of a rural
that carried out productive activities in the ZAS, regardless of the ownership,
of production areas and the size of the area. Sharecroppers (a tenant farmer who
part of each crop as rent) and tenants could receive the donation.
- Dealer: A R$15,000.00 donation was made to dealers that had a commercial
establishment or carried out small-sized industrial activities in the ZAS.
What were the required documents?
It was necessary to present documents that prove the connection of the applicant
a residence, with a productive activity or property in the ZAS, as per the list
and the applicant’s personal original and updated data (full name, ID, social
number, date of birth, full address, e-mail, telephone and bank details).
- Resident: Original documents, that relate the applicant to the property, in the
such as: deed; Urban Building and Land Tax (IPTU) slip; lease contract, water or
electricity bills, all with the property address in the name of the applicant.
- Rural Producer: Original documents that evidence the relationship between the
applicant and the productive activity developed in the ZAS, such as: sharecrop or
leasing contracts; title deed; Declaration of Aptitude to the PRONAF, water bill
the property address in the name of the applicant.
- Dealer: Original documents that evidence the relationship between the applicant
the activity or property, such as: registration in the Commercial Registry,
Vale also provided transportation to Banco do Brasil for the opening of the bank
What is the Preliminary Adjustment Agreement (TAP) ratified by Vale?
Seeking to accelerate the emergency response to the breach of Dam I at Córrego do
mine, in Brumadinho, Vale signed a Preliminary Adjustment Agreement (TAP) on
to anticipate the emergency payments to every person that was registered as resident
the city of Brumadinho on the day the dam breached. The emergency payment to also
to those who resided within a 1km radius of the Paraopeba riverbed, from Brumadinho
the city of Pompéu, at the Retiro de Baixo dam.
The agreement lays down the following measures, among others:
- Advanced indemnity payment in monthly installments of one minimum wage per adult,
of the minimum wage per adolescent, and 25% of the minimum wage per child, for a
of 12 months.
– Independent technical consulting service to enable the affected people to
their indemnities individually;
– Reimbursement or direct payment of the extraordinary expenses incurred by the
Minas Gerais – by both its directly involved and indirect administrative agencies –,
including payment of expenses related to transport, accommodation and food supplied
the civil servants involved in the rescue work and other emergency actions.
Learn more about the emergency indemnification
What efforts are being made to rescue the animals in the affected areas?
Vale has set up a taskforce composed of veterinarians, biologists and assistants, as
well as volunteers mobilized by the Regional Council of Veterinary Medicine (CRMV,
Conselho Regional de Medicina Veterinária), consultancy services, and Vale
employees. A specialized helicopter was also used for the emergency rescue of
Where are the animals being taken to?
The animals are being assisted at Abrigo de Fauna farm and the Veterinary hospital
set up by Vale. The work is being done by veterinarians, support teams, and
volunteers. The company has set up a feeding and medication center available for
animals while in the shelter.
What other actions is Vale taking to assist the animals?
Vale has issued a list of the animals sheltered at Abrigo de Fauna farm and the Veterinary hospital.The company reinforces the ongoing assistance for the animals affected by the dam breach in Brumadinho.
Is it possible to visit Abrigo da Fauna farm?
Yes. The farm can be visited on Saturdays. To schedule a visit, call the Service
Center – 0800 031 0831.
Why is Vale promoting Dog and Cat Adoption Events?
Vale is promoting Dog and Cat Adoption Events aiming at promoting responsible
adoption and giving a new home to the animals currently sheltered at the farm.
Besides that, the event is a great opportunity to promote the reunion of the animals
with those who had lost them. This is part of an agreement signed with the
Prosecution Office of Minas Gerais as part of the Preliminary Agreement (TCP, Termo
de Compromisso Preliminar). For adoption, it is required to submit a copy of the ID
(with photo) and a proof of residence. Each tutor will receive a brochure with
guidance for animal care.
How are the tailings moving?
The tailings that leaked from Dam 1 are concentrated in the Ferro-Carvão stream and
in the confluence of the steam and the Paraopeba river. Because the dam had been
inactive with no tailings being added for approximately three years, the slurry was
relatively dry and did not leak too far.
What measures are being taken to prevent the spread of tailings?
Vale has been building impoundment structures that together will stop the flow of
sediments into Paraopeba river and help cleaning of the river and Ferro-Carvão
Between B1 and the confluence of Ferro-Carvão stream and Paraopeba river, there are
three great impoundment structures (two hydraulic filtration barrier and a dike), as
well as 24 small stabilizing barriers. The purpose of these interventions is to
retain sediment flow to Paraopeba river. Construction works are in progress and
shall be complete by the end of this year.
In addition to these structures, a curtain of metal piles was installed near the
confluence of Ferro-Carvão stream and Paraopeba river. This measure will allow
cleaning of the river stretch where the major concentration of sediments is located.
Since May 27, the flow of solids into Paraopeba river was stopped.
To complement recovery of Paraopeba river, a River Water Treatment Plant (ETAF,
Estação de Tratamento de Água Fluvial) was set up near the confluence of
Ferro-Carvão stream and Paraopeba river. Since May 9, when operations started, until
the beginning of September, the ETAF returned into Paraopeba river 1.5 billion
liters of clean water in accordance with the legal standards defined by the National
Council for the Environment (Conama, Conselho Nacional de Meio Ambiente)
Are these structures permanent?
All structures are decommissionable; they can be disassembled from the moment they
are no longer required for stabilization of the affected areas.
Will tailings be removed from the affected stretch of Paraopeba river?
Since mid-May, Vale has been dredging tailings from the affected stretch of Paraopeba
river. This process is essential for recovery of the river. Dredging removes the
tailings from the silted area of the river. The material removed is stored and
dehydrated in large bags (geotextile bags). The water drained from these bags are
pumped to a treatment plant and returned clean to Paraopeba river. Dredging
activities are planned to continue until 2020, beginning at the confluence of
Ferro-Carvão stream and Paraopeba river, and extending along almost 2km downstream
from this point. It is estimated that between 300 and 350 million m3 of material
leaked from B1 dam is deposited along this stretch.
Dredging is not the only action to remove tailings from affected areas. Since the
breach of B1 dam, tailings removal planning and execution is being carefully
conducted together with the Fire Service.
How are tailings transported and were are they deposited?
A 3.6-km-road access was built where the old rail branch of Córrego do Feijão mine
used to operate. The access is already in use and it is exclusive for construction
works vehicles, especially those used for tailings handling. The road goes from the
bridge on Alberto Flores avenue to the mine. With such action, the traffic of heavy
vehicles has been significantly reduced on local roads, improving road flow, safety
,and comfort for the communities.
It is important to highlight that removed tailings will be inspected by the Fire
Service and, after approval, they are deposited in an area within Córrego do Feijão
mine, previously authorized by relevant authorities.
How does the barrier work?
The sediment control barrier is 30 meters wide and 2 to 3 meters deep. The structure
works as a filtering fabric, trapping solid particles (clay, silt, organic
matter...) that cause water turbidity and change its transparency.
To maintain the anti-turbidity curtains in a vertical position, there are metal
chains at the lower edge (submerged part) that avoid the river flow to force the
curtain to the surface. The flotation element is a cylinder buoy that can be used to
prevent the spread of sediments suspended in water.
How does the Fluvial Water Treatment Station work?
The Fluvial Water Treatment Station (ETAF) has the capacity to treat approximately 2
million liters per hour. The implementation of the structure is part of the Reject
Containment Plan presented by the company to public agencies.
Near the Avenida Alberto Flores‘s new bridge, a curtain of metallic stakes was
installed to contain the tailings. At this point, the water of the Ferro-Carvão
stream is being collected and pumped to the ETAF, where it passes through filtering
and sediment removal processes.
In the ETAF, the water is separated from the solids by means of a settling process
and then passes through the filtration, returning treated to the stream Casa Branca,
another tributary of Paraopeba.
The solids decanted in the sedimentation basin are directed to large pockets called
geotextiles, responsible for containing, storing and dewatering the tailings.
Drained water from these pockets is fed into the installed filtration system. The
solids in the geotextile tubes will be removed and transported to an area previously
defined and authorized by the competent bodies.
This whole process of water treatment is fundamental to significantly reduce the
sediment movement in the course of the Paraopeba river. With the installation of
this system, Vale reaffirms its commitment to mitigate the impacts caused to the
environment and communities as a result of the dam’s breach.
Is Vale monitoring the Paraopeba river?
Since January, Vale has implemented a series of actions to monitor the water quality
of Paraopeba river. Currently, there are 67 monitoring points covering an area of
more than 2.6 kilometers along the river. Almost 3 million water, soil, and sediment
analyses have been performed, checking 393 parameters. In addition to surface water
analysis, samples were also collected at two meter depth. The results compared to
the surface water analysis were under normal conditions. The analysis is being
conducted by four specialized laboratories, involving approximately 250
Since late March, mercury and lead levels are below the legal limits according to
the analyses of the Water Management Institute of Minas Gerais (IGAM, Instituto
Mineiro de Gestão das Águas). But, due to the presence of these heavy metals, the
State Authority prohibited the water withdrawal from river directly. This
prohibition remains as a preventive measure.
Does Vale have any information on the causes of the breach?
The company's efforts are focused on the care of those affected and on the repair
and development of the municipalities affected directly and indirectly. Vale
reinforces its support for the Civil Defense and the Fire Department, who are in the
area in search of the disappeared. In addition, Vale continues to investigate the
causes of the disruption, but does not t have a conclusion yet about the causes.
Vale is the most interested party in the investigation of the facts and has
cooperated fully with the authorities. Documents and information requested by the
Justice and other institucions have been presented by the company and its employees
in an uncontested way, in collaboration with the investigations.
Independent Committees of Extraordinary Advice ("CIAE") were set up to follow up on
measures to assist the victims and the recovery of the area, to determine the causes
and to reinforce the safety conditions of the dams.
Did Vale know about the risk of a dam breach?
Dam I had all applicable stability affidavits and was subject to an external and
independent audit in September 2018.
Was dam 1 in operation?
Dam 1 was in the process of decommissioning. It had been inactive for about three
years. Consequently, no tailings were being added. It was built in 1976 by Ferteco,
a company that was acquired by Vale in 2001.
Did the breach affect other dams?
The small structures IV and IV-A of the Córrego do Feijão Mine were struck by the
tailings that leaked from Dam I. Dam VI was inspected shortly after the Dam I
breach. It is being constantly monitored by two radars, being one of them every 3
minutes with real-time monitoring.
Is Vale taking action to improve safety in Dam VI?
Yes. Vale is carrying out the lowering of the water level of the VI Dam, through a
pumping system, keeping the structure at the recommended safety level. In addition,
the recovery of the surface drainage system is being carried out.
What are dams?
Dams are structures designed by engineers, used as a reservoir to contain or
liquid substances or mixture of liquids and solids from the ore processing process.
How many dams does Vale have?
Vale operates 133 iron ore dams in country, of which 105, or 80%, are located in
Gerais. In addition, the company has 21 iron ore dams in Pará and seven in Mato
What is decommissioning?
Decommissioning is the process of ending use of a dam permanently. After the works
carried out, the remaining structure is no longer characterized as a dam and is
reincorporated into the relief and the environment.
For more information, visit our page on dams here.
On January 27, 2019, Vale’s Board of Directors created two Extraordinary Independent
Consulting Committees: The Extraordinary Independent Consulting Committee for
and Recovery ("CIAEAR"), dedicated to following up the measures to assist the
and recover the area affected by the dam breach, ensuring allocation of all required
resources, and the Extraordinary Independent Consulting Committee for Investigation
("CIAEA"), to help investigate the facts that caused the breach and find the persons
responsible for it.
On February 15, the company announced the formation of a third committee,
Independent Consulting Committee for Dam Safety ("CIAESB"), which will be dedicated
advising the Board on issues related to the diagnosis of safety conditions,
and mitigation of risks related to Vale’s ore tailings dams, as well as recommending
measures to strengthen safety conditions.
On the same day, the Board decided to re-evaluate and standardize the composition of
those committees – to be composed exclusively by external independent members, with
unblemished reputation and with experience in the subjects of their respective
occupations. Such decision will also enable the Board members who had been
assigned to the first two committees to dedicate exclusively to the matters
the Board of Directors.
Members of the three Committees are listed below:
Extraordinary Independent Consulting Committee for Support and Recovery (CIAEAR)
Leonardo Pereira (external independent member - Chairperson of the committee)
President at Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) from 2012 to 2017. Independent
Advisor of the Oversight Advisory Committee of the World Health Organization.
and economist. Masters in Administration by Warwick University and specialization by
AOTs, Japan. Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School for negotiation and corporate
governance. Global experience of more than 25 years in the capital markets.
Ana Cristina Barros (external independent member) -
30 years dedicated to the defense of the environment and sustainable development.
as National Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests in the Ministry of Environment.
Accomplishments: design and promotion of the Rural Environmental Registry, support
the creation of Conservation Units and national policies for management of
lands, negotiations with the Global Environment Fund and representation of Brazil in
assessment of its Biodiversity Policy by the OECD.
Márcio Gagliato (independent external member) -
Masters in Social Psychology (PUC) and PhD from the Faculty of Publich Health (USP).
Technical Consultant for United Nations agencies and international non-governmental
organizations, more than 12 years of experience in humanitarian responses, including
actions in Libya, Iran, Syria, Gaza, South Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe among others.
Awarded with Fellowship Programme in Human Rights by the University of Columbia
Specialist in emergencies by the Pan American Health Organization and participation
the "Reference Group of the Permanent Interagency Committee on Mental Health and
Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Emergencies".
Extraordinary Independent Consulting Committee for Investigation (CIAEA)
Dra. Ellen Gracie (external independent member - Chairperson of the committee)
Former Minister of the Federal Supreme Court and of the Electoral Superior Court,
President of the Special Committee for Investigation at Petrobras, President of the
Special Committee for Investigation at Eletrobras.
Jose Francisco Compagno -
Leadership Partner of the Forensic Department at EY from 2002 to 2018, and
Partner for Transaction Support from 2001 to 2005. Auditing Partner at Arthur
from 1998 to 2001. Director of Auditing at Coopers & Lybrand Auditores Independentes
from 1987 to 1998. Graduated in Accounting Sciences at FMU - SP. Member of the
Committee at EY from 2016 to 2017.
Manuel de Almeida Martins (external independent member) -
Civil Engineer graduated by the School of Engineering of the Federal University of
Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in 1971, with specialization in geotechnical engineering and
dam engineering. He carried out activities for thirty years in studies, project
detailing, construction monitoring, supervision, quality control, monitoring and
assessments on safety of dams and foundation works in large Brazilian companies as a
geotechnical engineer and department manager specialized in geotechnics. In the last
twenty years, he has worked as an Independent Consultant in geotechnical engineering
for infrastructure projects, mainly dams.
Extraordinary Independent Consulting Committee for Dam Safety (CIAESB)
Flávio Miguez de Mello external independent member - Chairperson of the
Civil engineer with specialization in hydraulics (1967) from the Federal University
Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), with master's degree in Geology Science (1975) from UFRJ.
is a reference in engineering of dams. He has taken courses and trainings in the
Canada and Portugal, has been teaching courses at several universities since 1968,
published more than 100 technical papers in Brazil and abroad, and has managed
consulting companies and technical institutions in Brazil and abroad, among which,
International Commission of Large Dams, the Brazilian Committee on Dams, the
Academy of Engineering in Brazil, the School of Engineering of UFRJ, and received
several academic and professional awards. He has worked on several dam projects in
Brazil and abroad.
Willy Lacerda (external independent member) -
Graduated in Civil Engineering by Escola Nacional de Engenharia da Universidade do
Brasil (1958), Masters' degree in Geotechnical Engineering from University of
- Berkeley (1969) and PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from University of California
Berkeley (1976). He participated in the creation of the Geotechnical Institute of
city of Rio de Janeiro in 1966. During his teaching as a professor at COPPE -
University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), from 1967 to 2007, he supervised over 50
theses and 18 PhD dissertations. He has over 150 published papers in journals and
academic congress publications. He is currently a collaborating professor at COPPE -
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He has experience in Civil Engineering,
with emphasis in slope stability, mainly acting on the following matters:
soft clay, earth dams, landslides, slope stability, collapsible soils, soil
and tropical soils. He was President at Brazilian Association of Soil Mechanics and
Geotechnical Engineering (ABMS) from 1996 to 2000, where he currently is a partner
permanent member of the Board of Directors. Former president of JTC1 - Joint
Committee on Landslides and Engineered Slopes, of the following three international
societies: ISSMGE, ISRM and IAEG - from 2006 to 2010, where he currently stands as
of its core members. He received the title of Emeritus professor of UFRJ in October,
2010. He was nominated for the National Academy of Engineering in Brazil (ANE) in
He was nominated as Eminent Professor by Escola Politécnica of UFRJ in 2015. He is
coordinator of INCT - Geotechnical Institute for Rehabilitation of Slopes and Plains
REAGEO since 2008.
Alberto Fabrini (external independent member) -
Over 30 years of managerial experience in complex business units in the industrial
mining sectors. Former Chairperson of the Board of the Brazilian Aluminum
(ABAL) and board member of the Brazilian Mining Institute (IBRAM). For 9 years,
held various positions as Executive Director of alumina, primary aluminum and
operations at Norsk Hydro. There, he served, from 2013 to 2016, as Global Vice
President. Previously, he worked for 22 years at Alcoa. At this company, from 2005
2007, he held the position of Managing Director of the Jamaican Unit, as well as the
position of Refinery Director at Alumar, and Industrial Director at Poços de Caldas.
Graduated in Mechanic Engineering (1980) from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie,
specializing in environmental management at York University Canada and a training in
global management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Canada and United