In a statement, Vale indicated that although the CGU acknowledged the non-existence of corruption and the company’s top management failed to notice any irregularities, it imposed that capital amount as a sanction.
The CGU concluded that the company has not provided irrefutable information to the National Mining Agency about the dam that collapsed at 12:28 p.m. local time on January 25, 2019 in the rural neighborhood of Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais (southeast). .
According to the auditor, there was a harmful act in the case, considering the structure of the deposit from June to September 2018 to be positive, when it should have been negative.
When the dams of the Córrego do Feijao Dam gave way, a stream of mud and mining waste (more than 12 million cubic meters) was released, destroying everything in its path.
The Vale deposit disaster is the first major disaster since the November 5, 2015 accident in the Bento Rodrigues subdistrict, 35 kilometers from the center of the municipality of Mariana, also in this territorial division.
On that day, the breaking of the breakwaters of the Samarco company, in which Vale owns 50 percent, caused the deaths of 19 people (18 bodies were rescued) and the largest environmental disaster in the country’s history.
However, the Brumadinho disaster is the seventh that Minas Gerais has mourned in the past 16 years, averaging more than one rupture every two years (1.85). The bursting of the Córrego do Feijao reservoir devastated an area the size of 300 football pitches in the city.
The area where the mining collapse occurred belongs to the Mata Atlântica forest formation (neotropic plant formation in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina) in the transition to the Cerrado (wide tropical savannah national ecoregion) that begins a few kilometers downstream. .
Given the recorded area of mud, habitat loss even affected forest groups, fragmenting and impeding the connection of these areas.
From the moment of the accident, local media denounced in journalistic works that employees of the German company TÜV Süd, who were tasked with assessing the safety of the deposit, were aware of the low level of protection, but under pressure from managers issued cheap certificates .