Environment & Energy Report

Under Fire, Vale Executives Deny Advanced Warning of Dam Problem

Feb. 12, 2019, 8:55 PM

Vale SA denied receiving any warning of an impending disaster at its tailings dam that killed at least 165 people in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

A series of news reports have alleged the world’s largest iron ore producer got wind of potential problems at the dam before it burst on Jan. 25. Vale executives on Feb. 12 made public third-party audits affirming the dam’s stability, and provided data and internal email communications as evidence that the monitoring equipment was functioning normally.

“We’re still investigating, but the narrative—that the dam’s water levels increased and were detected beforehand in that state, and...

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