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We will never forget Brumadinho

We will never forget Brumadinho. The failure of Dam I at our Córrego do Feijão mine on January 25, 2019 resulted in irreparable human losses. Since then, we have worked tirelessly to repair and compensate for the damages in a participatory process involving the affected individuals.  
A wide range of reparation initiatives have been undertaken across the social, environmental, infrastructure, and safety dimensions. We continue to invest in initiatives aimed at developing responsible mining practices, reducing impacts, and transparently engaging with society to further mitigate risks associated with our operations. 
The dam collapse resulted in 272 fatalities, with 3 victims still missing. We continue to engage with the families and support the Fire Department of Minas Gerais in their search efforts. 
Our commitment to preventing recurrence has led us to redouble our focus on people's and dam safety by implementing stringent international standards (see more about these practices in the section on Dams). 

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Dam I at the Córrego do Feijão mine 

Dam I was a tailings storage facility in Brumadinho (MG). The dam was inactive (not receiving tailings), had no impounded water, and had no other ongoing operational activities. At that time of the incident, dam decommissioning was underway. Built in 1976 by Ferteco Mineração (acquired by Vale in 2001) using the upstream raising method, the dam was 86 meters high, and its crest length was 720 meters. The stored tailings covered an area of 249,500 square meters and had a total volume of 12.37 million cubic meters. 

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Compensation and financial aid 

Since the dam collapse, Vale has provided all necessary resources to address the impacts, with initiatives divided between those targeting individual and collective damages. 

In terms of providing individual financial support, Vale entered into an agreement with the State Attorney General’s Office of Minas Gerais, the Public Prosecutors’ Office of Minas Gerais, the State Public Defenders’ Office of Minas Gerais, the Federal Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office, and the Federal Public Defenders’ Office, pursuant to which we committed to make monthly emergency aid payments to affected individuals through October 2021. 

In addition to emergency aid, Vale has also paid extrajudicial civil and labor indemnities, in line with our commitment to compensate all those who have suffered any damage. 

A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs are usually an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose.

The funding provided by Vale for indemnities and financial aid includes: 

• Indemnities paid to approximately 14,100 individuals, totaling R$ 3.4 billion, including:  

  • 11,600 beneficiaries receiving about R$ 2.2 billion in judicial and extrajudicial civil indemnities. 

  • 2,500 beneficiaries receiving approximately R$ 1.2 billion in labor indemnities. 

• About 100,000 people receiving a total of R$ 2.4 billion. 

• Vale has also voluntarily donated R$ 36 million to around 1,000 people. 

• More than 5,300 people have received support through Program Comprehensive Assistance to the Affected Person (PAIA), which provides free support and counseling after indemnity payments.

*Até agosto de 2023. 

Comprehensive Reparation Agreement  

On February 4, 2021, Vale, the state and Federal public prosecutors’ offices and the Public Defenders’ Office of Minas Gerais entered into a formal Comprehensive Reparation Agreement with the government of Minas Gerais. The agreement establishes Vale’s performance and payment obligations as part of the social, economic and environmental reparation programs in affected communities, with a total estimated allocation of R$ 37.7 billion. 

This includes R$ 5 billion earmarked for environmental recovery initiatives in the Paraopeba River basin, the plan for which is currently under discussion and validation by the relevant authorities, with independent audit oversight. The earmarked amount is for known damages and has no cap, potentially expanding to cover any damages emerging in the future—or those currently unknown and subsequently demonstrated to be linked to the dam collapse. Data from water and sediment quality monitoring in the Paraopeba River indicate that water quality has, in general, approximated the conditions observed before the collapse. These data are consistent with monitoring data from the Minas Gerais Institute for Water Management (IGAM) (read more in the December/22 Reparation Report and in the State Environmental Foundation’s reports on water quality in the Paraopeba River (see here).

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Other initiatives commenced during the immediate aftermath of the dam collapse are also ongoing (see more in Other initiatives below).  

The agreement provides legal certainty and ensures swift progress in repairing diffuse and collective social, economic, and environmental damages. This agreement is civil in nature. All criminal proceedings remain ongoing and will be adjudicated by the Judiciary. 

Independent audits, as required by the Agreement, assist signatory agencies in enforcing obligations. 

Among the measures provided for in the agreement are: 
O acordo garante segurança jurídica e celeridade na reparação socioambiental e socioeconômica dos danos difusos e coletivos. O documento tem natureza civil. Todas as ações criminais permanecem em andamento e serão julgadas pelo Poder Judiciário. 
  • Funding allocated to replace emergency aid payments with the Income Transfer Program, a program administered and operated by the Minas Gerais State Public Prosecutors’ Office and the Public Defenders’ Office; 

  • Measures to enhance quality of life, access to public services, and economic growth in the affected region; 

  • Measures to restore living conditions for affected individuals to a level equivalent to that existing before the dam collapse, supporting their autonomy and empowerment. 

Comprehensive Reparation Agreement: 

Signed by Vale and compliance enforcement agencies.
Compliance enforcement agencies include both government and societal organizations: Government of Minas Gerais, Public Prosecutors’ Office of the State of Minas Gerais, Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office, Public Defenders’ Office of Minas Gerais.

Region: 26 municipalities in the Paraopeba River Basin (including Brumadinho) 

Vale obligations: the agreement outlines Vale’s to do and to pay obligations to ensure the comprehensive reparation of social, environmental and economic damages, impacts and losses resulting from the dam collapse and its aftermath, using such technical solutions and arrangements as are defined for each case under the Agreement. 

Indenizações e repasses de recursos monetários pela Vale como compensação aos danos para comunidades e organizações públicas para investimento em desenvolvimento socioeconômico e socioambiental na região.
The Agreement divides obligations into three categories:  

A set of reparation measures aimed at restoring the environment and compensating (financially or otherwise) for all impacts, damages, or losses caused by the dam collapse. 

Compensation for known environmental damages:  R$ 1.55 billion

Environmental recovery: R$ 5.0 billion (an estimate with no defined cap) 

Recovery measures must follow an established reparation plan and environmental quality standards in order to restore landscapes to their pre-dam collapse condition.  

 Socioeconomic initiatives and projects for Brumadinho and the 25 other affected municipalities in the Paraopeba Basin, preceded by consultation with affected individuals to prioritize investments. 

Projects for the Paraopeba Basin: R$ 2.5 billion (+ payment obligations) 

Projects for Brumadinho: R$ 1.5 billion 

Amounts disbursed under the Comprehensive Reparation Agreement as of December 31, 2022: 

Formalizado judicialmente, o Acordo Judicial de Reparação Integral com o governo de Minas Gerais, foi assinado em 4 de fevereiro de 2021 pela Vale e pelos Ministérios Públicos Estadual e Federal e a Defensoria Pública de Minas Gerais. O documento define as obrigações da Vale de fazer e de pagar tendo em vista a reparação socioeconômica e socioambiental das comunidades afetadas, em um valor total estimado em R$ 37,7 bilhões.
Entre eles, inclui R$ 5 bilhões em iniciativas de recuperação ambiental da bacia do Rio Paraopeba, cujo plano está em fase de discussão e validação pelos órgãos competentes e acompanhamento de auditoria independente. Nesse caso, o valor se refere aos danos conhecidos, e não há teto, podendo ser ampliado para cobrir eventuais danos que apareçam posteriormente – ou que sejam atualmente desconhecidos e que venham a ser comprovadamente ligados ao rompimento. Cabe enfatizar que o monitoramento da qualidade da água e sedimentos do rio Paraopeba, de modo geral, apontam para maior aproximação das condições verificadas antes do rompimento. Os dados convergem com os que estão sendo produzidos com base no monitoramento do Instituto Mineiro de Gestão das Águas (Igam) (leia mais no Balanço da Reparação Dezembro/22 e também nos boletins informativos da Fundação Estadual do Meio Ambiente sobre a qualidade da água no Rio Paraopeba aqui).

* Amounts spent by Vale prior to the Agreement that were recognized and taken into account in the total document.

Disbursed as of December 31, 2022:

81% of payment obligations have been completed 

• 19% of performance obligations have been completed 

• 76 projects for the Paraopeba Basin have been converted into payment obligations and settled

• 196 projects approved for municipalities in the Paraopeba Basin, with 51 of these under post-execution analysis, 1 completed, and 144 in progress

• 8 works projects for Brumadinho were converted into payment obligations and settled

• 10 projects approved for Brumadinho, with 1 under post-execution analysis and 1 completed

• Engagement of independent auditors to assist in project oversight

Other initiatives 

In addition to the initiatives outlined in the Comprehensive Reparation Agreement, several other initiatives commenced during the emergency phase are still ongoing. These include water supply, treatment and monitoring projects, social programs, support for affected individuals, social and economic development programs, and social and urban infrastructure projects. Some of these initiatives have been formally integrated into the Agreement, while others continue to be executed as separate programs but subject to similar monitoring and oversight by enforcement agencies as for initiatives within the Agreement.  

These initiatives include: 

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Water: a series of completed and ongoing initiatives to ensure that all residents and farmers affected by the interruption of water withdrawals from the Paraopeba River have access to water of the required quality and quantity. These initiatives include the installation or recommissioning of wells, new water withdrawal and storage facilities, emergency water trucks, and construction of treatment systems. Permanent monitoring of water quality is also in place. Independent auditors conduct analyses, including confirmation essays and on-site audits of sample collection. Learn more here

Animal care: animals retrieved from areas affected by the dam collapse in Brumadinho and areas where animals had to be evacuated or relocated have received care at farms maintained by Vale or affiliates. The goal is to find new homes for these animals, and periodic campaigns are conducted to encourage adoption. Individuals looking to adopt an animal can consult a catalog of available animals and fill out an adoption form at
Economic: to help affected regions return to normal and support their socio-economic development, initiatives in this front are divided into three pillars: improving quality of life, local tourism, and livelihoods for residents. Initiatives are planned based on active engagement with communities’ about their needs. These include the construction of a Community Marketplace with a bakery, community kitchen, confectionery, and pizzeria that offer training workshops; construction of a Culture Center, and an entrepreneurship and sustainable tourism program, among other initiatives.  
Social and infrastructure projects: initiatives on this front are part of the compensation process and are planned through active consultation with communities and partnerships with the public sector. The focus is on improving quality of life and collective well-being, with an emphasis on local job creation. Initiatives include the construction of daycares, squares, and sidewalks, as well as investment in medical equipment for imaging, consultations, and surgeries. 
Updates on our progress on these initiatives and in implementing the Comprehensive Reparation Agreement are provided in six-monthly Reparation Reports (see more below in Accountability)

Active listening

All initiatives are planned through active consultation with communities, municipal governments, the state government of Minas Gerais, regulatory and oversight agencies, and the judiciary, all of which contribute to the joint development of solutions. 

Evacuated areas

Since the collapse of Dam B1 in Brumadinho, we have adopted more conservative standards in evaluating our dams. We respond promptly to any identified risks through preventive relocations or emergency evacuations when deemed necessary. We are aware of the resulting impacts and make every effort to improve quality of life for residents and to restore conditions as close as possible to those before the incident.. 

For detailed information on our compensation and reparation initiatives for families in evacuated areas, see here.  

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Dam management 

Since the dam collapse, Vale has taken significant steps to improve dam management and safety protocols. In addition to being a legal requirement, eliminating upstream-raised tailings storage facilities is a commitment we have undertaken to society. Our goal is to phase out 100% of upstream-raised dams by 2035. In addition, we have enhanced dam risk management by adopting international standards post-incident, includinga Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM).  
Read more in Dams.


The investigations that ensued after the dam collapse involved experts, consultants, representatives from regulatory bodies, and members of civil society, and included external and independent assessments:  
The Expert Panel, engaged by Vale’s external legal counsel to determine the technical causes of the dam collapse, issued its report in December 2019. The Panel was tasked with investigating, on the basis of its professional expertise and judgment, the technical causes of the dam collapse. The report, along with ten appendices and a concise explanatory video, is available at

Announced on February 15, 2019, the Independent Ad Hoc Advisory Committee for Dam Safety (“CIAE-SB”) was established by Vale’s Board of Directors, under the oversight of Professor Flavio Miguez Mello, a leading expert in dam engineering with over 50 years of professional experience. The group also included geotechnical experts Willy Lacerda and Pedro Repetto. 

Throughout 2020, CIAE-SB continued to support safety assessments of dams and dikes used in our Brazilian operations. Priority was given to upstream-raised facilities and those located in sensitive areas. The committee recommended measures to the Board of Directors to improve dam safety. 

In 2020, CIAE-SB issued 29 reports, 15 technical briefs, and 2 progressive summaries, and held 11 regular meetings.  In April 2021, CIAE-SB concluded its work and submitted its final report to our Board of Directors. Vale has developed action plans to address all recommendations, which are regularly assessed in a multiple layer system and any changes justified and approved by senior leadership. As of 2022, 82% of the action plans had been completed, and the remaining 18% are expected to be completed by 2024. 

We continue with our work on dam safety, now conducted by the Independent Tailings Review Board (“ITRB”), composed by the former CIAE-SB members, among others, in line with the best international practices and with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. Read more in Dams

Announced on January 27, 2019, this committee was established by Vale’s Board of Directors, under the coordination of retired Supreme Federal Court Justice Ellen Gracie, to investigate the causes of and responsibilities for the B1 Dam collapse. 
Governed by a charter that included specific requirements on independence, autonomy, and the availability of a sufficient budget for its activities, the committee conducted investigation activities that included interviews with key individuals, document reviews, on-site visits to the dam site, among other activities. The committee also collaborated with authorities responsible for related investigations, and followed the work of various parliamentary committees to obtain relevant information from diverse sources. The Investigation Committee’s work was overseen by Vale’ Board of Directors and Oversight Board through regular reports.  

The CIAE-A was discontinued on February 20, 2020, when its findings were submitted to the Board of Directors and relevant authorities. Vale released an executive summary to the market to ensure accountability to society. The committee’s technical and governance recommendations were implemented between 2020 and 2022. 

Also on January 27, 2019, Vale’s Board of Directors established an Independent Ad Hoc Advisory Committee for Support and Reparation (CIAE-AR). 

The committee concluded its work in February 2020 and issued a report with 84 recommendations. The report, available here, included analyses and recommendations on commitments and measures to be taken by Vale to further advance the reparation process.  

Reparation efforts continued to be led by the Reparation Department and were periodically monitored by the Sustainability Committee. Vale completed 82 recommendations, including 5 in 2019, 64 in 2020, and 13 in 2021. Two recommendations were not accepted by the Company. 

Independent consultants conducted annual, external, and independent assessments of progress on implementing the recommendations, confirming their successful completion.


Our commitment to full reparation for the Brumadinho disaster includes transparency in managing the entire process and maintaining constant dialog and communication at each stage of the efforts. 

Every six months, we here release a report on ongoing initiatives, including funds invested, major projects completed, and other details.  

Our Vale+ Comunidade publication provides monthly updates on key initiatives, presented separately for Brumadinho and the broader Paraopeba River Basin and its 25 municipalities (excluding Brumadinho). 

Additionally, the Pró-Brumadinho Committee portal, coordinated by the compliance enforcement agencies, provides information on impacts on affected communities and the environment and details on ongoing initiatives and projects under the Comprehensive Reparation Agreement.  

This committee collaborates with the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), engaged as independent auditors, to support decision-making on economic reparation projects. Learn more here

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Other references 

External and independent organizations also regularly conduct assessments and studies to improve our understanding of the impacts and social and environmental reparation outcomes in the region.
  • 4 anos Rio Paraopeba – Recovery Initiatives in 2022 - Reparation Plan - prepared by the State Environment and Water Resource System (SISEMA) 
  • SIF Technical Report on the biotic environment, from the Forest Investigation Society (SIF) at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV)  
  • Citizen information bulletin on water quality in the Paraopeba River - State Foundation for the Environment of Minas Gerais (FEAM) 

Reparation disbursements and provisions 

In response to the dam collapse, Vale set aside provisions to meet its related obligations, provide individual compensation to affected individuals, pay the costs of rehabilitating disturbed land, and implement offsets, as detailed below.  

Visit our website to stay up to date with company releases and reports containing related operational information and financial disclosures. 

Impact of Brumadinho and De-characterization from 2019 to 3Q23 

USD millions  Impact/EBITDA  Payments  PV and FX adjustments²  Provisions balance 30-Sept-23
Agreements & donation¹ 
Total provisions
Incurred expenses 
¹ Includes Integral Reparation Agreement, individual, labor and emergency indemnifications, tailing removal and containment works. 
² Includes foreign exchange, present value and other adjustments. 
Cash disbursement for Brumadinho and de-characterization commitments¹²         US$ billions :  Disbursed from 2019 to 3Q23 4Q23 2024 2025 2026 2027 Yearly average 2028- 2035³ ³ 
Agreements & donations 
Incurred Expenses 
1 Estimate cash outflow for 2023-2035 period, given BRL-USD exchange rates of 5.0076.  
2 Amounts stated without discount to present value, net of judicial deposits and inflation adjustments. 
3 Estimate annual average cash flow for De-characterization provisions in the 2028-2035 period is US$ 277 million per year.  
4 Disbursements related to the Integral Reparation Agreement ending in 2029. 

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