Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Impacted Territories

Valuing human rights and minimizing the impacts caused to communities neighbouring our operations are priorities for Vale. We have reinforced this Social Management strategy by preventing risk, remediating impacts and promoting social legacy.

Disagreements with local communities could adversely impact our reputation and business. Disputes with communities close to Vale’s operations may arise from time to time, while accidents or incidents involving mines, industrial facilities and related infrastructure, such as the Dam I breach, may significantly affect the neighbouring communities.

In some cases, Vale’s operations and mineral reserves are located near lands owned or used by indigenous people or other groups of stakeholders. We are aware of the impacts of our operations and work hard in a preventive and remedial manner.

Impacted Territories Development Plan

Vale is developing a set of integrated actions for the communities of Macacos(Nova Lima), Barão de Cocais and Itabirito. With a total investment of BRL 190 million, the Impacted Territories Development Plan has been elaborated in accordance with the economic and social profile of each of these locations and aims to develop the economic vocations of the regions, as well as promoting the well-being after changes in the emergency levels of Vale’s dams B3/B4, Sul Superior and Forquilhas.

Vale provides all the necessary assistance to the 333 families in these communities (196 in Barão de Cocais, 125 in Macacos and 12 in Itabirito). These families are living in houses rented by the company, regional hotels and inns, or houses of friends and relatives, following the choices of the families.

Arte Territórios Impactados Arte Territórios Impactados

Locations Covered

The impacted territories development plan has been developed to meet the specific needs of each location.


In Macacos, Vale’s actions are intended to promote local tourism as well as to reduce impacts on the routine of residents. In 2020, Vale will develop a comprehensive Urbanization Plan for the central area, adding even more value to the tourism infrastructure. Investments in public assets, such as the restoration of São Sebastião das Águas Claras church (built in 1718), public parking, and road recovery, are already planned. Another front is the economic diversification, with investments estimated at BRL 1.5 million for the Municipal Tourism Fund (FUMTUR, Fundo Municipal de Turismo). The objetive is to provide workforce training programs that can enable productivity gains and service development.


Barão de Cocais

The plan for Barão de Cocais includes: cleaning and dredging watercourses to reduce the risk of flooding in the city; improvements of urban infrastructure; development of professional training programs; and improvements of the Municipal Primary Care Program. Investments in sports projects and teacher qualification are also planned. The purpose, defined in agreement with the impacted communities and public authorities, is to promote a quality improvement of the urban infrastructure in Barão de Cocais, as well as to contribute to the growth of tourism through the promotion of events and local natural attractions. It is noteworthy that the city is part of the Diamonds Route (Caminho dos Diamantes), one of the routes of Estrada Real (Brazil's biggest touristic route) and the Circuit between Peaks (Circuito Entre Serras), a bike touring route in the central region of the Minas Gerais state.

Barão de Cocais


In Itabirito, the projects will be defined together with the community and the newly elected municipal administration. Some of the initiatives already identified include: the refurbishment of public goods and equipment, such as the Center of Specialties in Rehabilitation, the Association of Parents and Friends of patients with down syndrome (APAE, Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais), and the historic churches of Bação and Engenheiro Correia; the improvement of tour itineraries; the construction of an outdoor gym center; and projects for professional qualification of local workforce, stimulating local businesses and income generation.


Board: Relocations

  • Brumadinho: Approximately 360 people allocated in temporary housing, hotels, inns or at the home of friends and relatives.
  • Barão de Cocais (Sul Superior dam of the Gongo Soco mine): Around 570 people in temporary housing, hotels, inns or in the homes of friends and relatives.
  • Macacos, Nova Lima (dam B3/B4 of the Mar Azul mine): Approximatly 320 people in temporary housing, hotels, inns or in the homes of friends and relatives.
  • Nova Lima headquarters (Vargem Grande dam of the Vargem Grande mine): Approximately 30 people allocated in temporary housing, own home or family home.
  • Ouro Preto (Forquilhas l, ll and lll dams and Group dam of Fábrica mine): Approximately 40 people allocated to temporary housing and relatives' homes.

Policies and Procedures


Following the Dam I breach at the Córrego do Feijão Mine, and the Emergency Action Plan for Mining Dams (PAEBM in Portuguese), in a preventive effort, four structures located in other municipalities in the region had their alert levels raised to 3, resulting in the evacuation of residents in the respective Self-rescue Zones (ZAS). The four structures are: the B3/B4 Dam of the Mar Azul Mine, in Macacos/Nova Lima (on February 16, 2019), the Sul Superior Dam of the Gongo Soco Mine in Barão de Cocais (on March 22, 2019), and the Forquilha I and Forquilha III Dams of the Fábrica Mine in Ouro Preto (on March 27, 2019).

Self-rescue zone

The Self-rescue zone (ZAS) is a region up to 10km or 30 minutes from the dam breach points. People are responsible for their own rescue, they must get out of where the flooding is and go to a safe zone on their own. There is no time for any public body to perform this rescue.

Containment Works

Aiming to protect the communities and to reduce impacts to the environment, Vale is building three containment structures at downstream areas of Sul Superior, B3/B4, and Forquilhas dams. The construction works are expected to be complete by early 2020 and are part of the de-characterization project of nine dams, with investments of BRL 7.1 billion, as announced by Vale in 2019.

The containment structures will be able to retain tailings from dams in case of an extreme breach scenario. Due to the emergency need related to those structures, the construction works were previously communicated to the Minas Gerais State Department of Environment and Sustainable Development (Semad, Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável), while the documentation and respective studies will be submitted within 90 days after notice, as provided for in Article 8 of Semad/IEF Joint Resolution No. 1905, 2013.

To carry out these three projects, Vale is creating access to the construction sites to prevent additional truck traffic within the surrounding communities, reducing the inconvenience caused to residents during the period of works. The containment works can be decommissioned, that is, after the completion of the dam de-characterization plan, the three containment structures can be fully removed, while vegetation will be recovered.


Other Initiatives

Vale has conducted several initiatives to compensate the evacuated communities in Barão de Cocais, Macacos and Itabirito, with dedicated care for the families and aiming the improvement in life conditions of affected people.

Vale has also provided to these communities some multidisciplinary teams of psychologists, social assistants and physicians. This assistance aims to ensure, for example, access to medicines and special food for those people in need. Vale will continue to support this population until the situation becomes stable.

Since January 25 2019, Vale has provided a direct channel to meet the demands of the communities – 0800 031 0831.

Following an agreement between Vale and the Public Defender's Office of Minas Gerais, people who feel affected can negotiate indemnifications individually. Those who are interested must go to one of Vale’s assistance centers in the region, accompanied by attorneys, or must contact the Public Defender's Office directly, which will help to move forward with the case.

Read Also

Social Investment

Social Investment

We seek to develop and improve the quality of life of the communities where we are present

Read more
Impact on Communities

Impact on Communities

Learn about our community relationship initiatives

Read more