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Prioritizing safety, Vale submitted a deadline extension request for upstream dams decharacterization

Vale informs that it is submitting deadline extension requests for eliminating the 23 upstream structures that will still undergo the decharacterization process in Minas Gerais, towards the regulatory authorities. The request, which was placed on Monday (21), is made due to the technical infeasibility to meet the deadlines, mainly because of the required actions in order to increase safety in view of the complexity of the works, which represent increased risks for the structures. Vale reinforces its commitment to eliminate all its upstream structures in Brazil, one of the pillars of the company's work to ensure that there will be no repetition of ruptures such as that of Brumadinho, in the shortest time possible, always prioritizing the people and environment safety.

The requests for deadlines extension for each structure are being submitted to the State Environmental Foundation (Feam) and also formalized towards the National Mining Agency (ANM). It is important to clarify that each structure has its own characteristics, with unique and unprecedented engineering solutions in the sector, and all actions have safety as a premise and are monitored by the regulatory agencies and the technical audits that advise the Public Ministry.

Since 2019, seven upstream structures - four in Minas Gerais and three in Pará - have been eliminated, among the 30 mapped, practically 25% of the company's Decommissioning Program. For this year, the conclusion of five more structures works and reintegration to the environment, are planned. With this, Vale expects to end 2022 with 40% of this type of structures eliminated. It means that 12 out of 30 mapped dams will already be decharacterized.

The structures that will have their work concluded this year are: dikes 3 and 4 of the Pontal Dam and the Ipoema Dam in Itabira (MG), the Baixo João Pereira Dam in Congonhas (MG), and the Auxiliary Dike of Dam 5 in Nova Lima (MG). The most recent Decommissioning Program update indicates that 90% of this type of dams will be eliminated by 2029 and 100% by 2035. The structures with a longer deadline are those of higher risk, more complex and involving larger tailings volume.

At the same time and aligned with the best international practices for dams management, the company has intensified preventive, corrective and monitoring actions in its structures advancing towards the goal of having all its dams in satisfactory safety conditions by 2025. These actions also reduce the risks in the upstream structures that will be eliminated until the preparatory and engineering steps for decharacterization are completed.

The upstream dams elimination is part of the cultural transformation process that the company has been undergoing since the collapse of dam B1, in Brumadinho. This transformation also includes the review of processes and practices for dams and tailings management, with emphasis on the adoption of the Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management (GISTM), which establishes requirements for the safe management of tailings disposal structures and aims to prevent any harm to people and the environment.

Vale, as a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), has made a public commitment to be 100% compliant with the 77 GISTM requirements at all its tailings disposal facilities until 2025.


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