Social-Environmental Responsibility. Sustainable Development.
Low-Carbon Economy. Clean Technology.
Responsabilidade Sócio-ambiental. Desenvolvimento Sustentável.
Economia de Baixo-Carbono. Tecnologia Limpa.
Preserving the natural patrimony is the most inexpensive and efficient environmental economics. The term natural heritage derives from the French "patrimoine naturel", the totality of natural assets, including those of historical, cultural or scenic beauty. It give us understanding the importance of natural environment: where we came from, what we do and how we will be. Our lives are connected to the landscapes of our daily lives, as well as we keep the memories of places we went. The destruction of these landscapes cause irreversible environmental damage, and are an insult to our memory, causing loss of quality of life.
Summary of measures taken since the day of the accident
Updated on January, 12, 2016
Vale, as a shareholder in Samarco together with BHP
Billiton, has acted to guarantee the integrity of the people affected by the
accident involving the Fundão tailings dam in Mariana, Minas Gerais, on
Find out more about the latest measures taken:
Support for people affected by the accident
Samarco has announced that 99% of the families from Mariana
and Barra Longa impacted by the accident ended 2015 in rented homes or at
relatives’ homes. Accordingly, 351 of the 355 families are staying in
properties furnished by the company or at relatives’ homes. Four families from
Mariana (eight people) remain at hotels by their own choice. All the homes
rented by the company have been equipped with furniture, home appliances,
domestic utensils and bed linen and towels, preferably acquired from the region’s
suppliers. Before each family moved in, the company also supplied the homes
with food supplies, cleaning and personal hygiene products and drinking water.
In January, each family with missing or deceased members due
to the accident will receive R$100,000 as advance compensation. Families who
had to move, i.e. those who lost their homes, will be given R$20,000, and 50%
of this amount will not be considered as advance compensation. This initiative
is part of an agreement made with the Minas Gerais State Public Prosecution
Service (MPMG) at a hearing held in Mariana on December 23, 2015, which
formalizes various humanitarian aid measures.
Periodic meetings are being held with communities, the
municipal, state and federal governments, the environmental authorities, the
Public Prosecution Service, the Public Defender’s Office and other public
authorities. The purpose of these meetings is to provide clarifications and
information about Samarco’s actions, and to develop joint initiatives. Service
centres have also been set up in Colatina, Linhares, Marilândia and Baixo
Guandu, in the state of Espírito Santo, and in Mariana and Barra Longa, Minas
Gerais. The aim of these centres is to centralize demands, questions and claims
from the community, facilitating services and the tracking of solutions.
Work and income
Samarco has provided emergency financial assistance to
families who have lost their income due to the accident, through the use of
cards. This aid consists of a monthly payment of one minimum salary to each
family, plus an extra 20% for every dependent and basic food supplies worth
R$338.61 – the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies
(DIEESE)’s benchmark value for Minas Gerais. In the Doce River region, 811
fishermen and other people living near the river have received these cards.
Around 800 affected people in Mariana and Barra Longa, in
Minas Gerais, have had their professional profile surveyed by Samarco’s
Occupation, Work and Income team. The aim of this work is to seek to
reintegrate these people into their previous functions, re-establishing their
working conditions or even opening up new productive activities in line with
each person’s professional profile and interest. In these same municipalities,
Samarco and its partner companies have hired residents to work on renovating
buildings, fencing and rehabilitating rural properties, revegetating the land,
sorting donations and looking after rescued animals.
Vale has carried out a detailed verification of the
structural conditions of all its tailings dams. No alterations have been
detected during the inspections. Our dams are monitored using instruments that
provide responses in relation to their structural behaviour. The data is
analyzed by geotechnical engineers, who frequently evaluate whether the
instrument readings are in line with the structures’ normal operating
Tailings (mining waste)
Samarco has been monitoring the behaviour of the mud plume
in the sea and it stresses that as yet there is no technical evidence that the
material observed in the region of Abrolhos, in Bahia, originated from the
failure of the Fundão tailings dam. The company emphasizes that the tailings
from the tailings pond is not toxic. It is largely made up of silica (sand)
arising from iron ore processing, and it does not contain any chemical elements
harmful to health. The results of analyses Samarco commissioned from SGSGeosol
Laboratórios, a company specializing in environmental and geochemical soil
analysis, show that the waste from the Fundão tailings pond does not pose any
danger to people or the environment. Samples were collected on November 8 near
Bento Rodrigues, Monsenhor Horta, Pedras, Barretos and Barra Longa, in Minas
Gerais, and they were analyzed in accordance with Brazilian standard ABNT NBR
A diagnosis conducted by a specialist consultancy confirms
that shoals of fish continue to live along the Doce River. This study was
carried out from December 3 to 11, 2015 at 215 points along the river. It also
revealed that less than 1% of the river basin has been affected by the
accident. Read more here.
The results of new analyses performed by the Geological
Survey of Brazil (CPRM) and the National Water Agency (ANA), disclosed on
December 15, 2015, show that the Doce River’s water quality is compatible with
the results found before the mud plume passed down the river. Reports also
confirm that, following proper treatment in line with the drinking water
standards established by the Health Ministry (Ordinance 2,914), the river’s
water may be consumed by the population without any risks. With regard to the
presence of heavy metals dissolved in the water, the levels of arsenic,
cadmium, mercury, lead, copper and zinc, among others, are generally similar to
the results of studies carried out by CPRM in 2010.
The November 5 dam collapse released billions of gallons of
tailings sludge into communities and waterways in what the government describes
as the country's worst ever environmental disaster. Photo: AP
Samarco deal seen within days, says Brazil attorney general February 4, 2016
Samarco Minercao and owners Vale and BHP Billiton are
expected to "shake hands" this week with Brazilian authorities on an
agreement to pay for damages from a tailings dam burst, Brazil's Attorney-General
Luis Inacio Adams said in an interview.
The accord, which will be finalised later this month, will
require the iron-ore joint venture to cover all costs of social and
environmental programs, rather than paying a set amount of 20 billion reais
that was originally sought, Adams said. The final value could end up being more
or less expensive for the company, in a process that may take more than 10
years, he said.
"The value is secondary. The most important thing is to
identify and pay for the necessary programs," Adams said. "This is
the first step for Samarco to eventually restart operations."
Federal and local officials are holding the three companies
responsible for the loss of life and environmental devastation caused when a
November 5 dam collapse released billions of gallons of tailings sludge into
communities and waterways in what the government describes as the country's
worst ever environmental disaster.
An agreement with the operating company and its two owners
would clear the way for the lifting of a ban on the transfer of mining rights
preventing them from selling assets, Adams said. It could also open the
possibility for Samarco to negotiate a new environmental license and resume
working in the region, he said.
Samarco, Vale and BHP didn't immediately respond to emailed
questions about the agreement.