Brazil’s Vale knew about sensor problems at dam before burst: Globo TV


SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA is made aware of difficulty sensors created to monitor the dwelling of a dam that have been bursting, killing nearly 300 people, a few days before the disaster, Globo TV reported on Wednesday.

An exchange of emails between executives at Vale, outside auditing firm TV SD along with third inspection firm on Jan. 23 discussed discrepancies in data obtained from automated instruments within the dam, plus five other such instruments which appeared this is not to be working,” the report said, citing the deposition on the TV SD engineer, Makoto Namba.

Namba, one of two TV SD employees who were arrested in the days after the dam burst, said inside deposition he was not informed about the discrepancies until right after the dam broke.

Namba also said he felt “pressured” by Vale employees to certify the dam that later burst in Brumadinho was stable. He was freed on Tuesday.

Vale declined to comment on the investigation but said it was cooperating with all the probe. TV SD declined to you might find the report, noting which it has hired two legal entities to help it probe its role in auditing the dam.

Reuters did not confirm the contents of the deposition.

The deposition was the newest in a set of reports to improve questions about whether there was clearly missed warnings in front of the dam burst, which unleashed an avalanche of toxic mud in the surrounding countryside, destroying a company dining hall including a country inn among other buildings.

A report Vale commissioned in ’09 from the same firm raised concerns over its drainage and monitoring systems, even as it certified the dam as stable.

Reuters reported yesterday that one Vale executive identified concerns around its tailings dams close to 2009, however the company don’t implement several steps he pointed fot it could have prevented or lessened the inflammation from the Jan. 25 dam collapsed.