Control and Management of Dams

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.
For this reason, we have intensified the monitoring of our structures and the assessments of their conservation status, in order to anticipate the problems through preventive and corrective measures.

An example of these ongoing efforts is the creation, since 2019, of three Geotechnical Monitoring Centers (CMG), which monitor the dams 24/7 to ensure useful information for better decision making.

 
 Photo: Geotechnical Monitoring Center (CMG)
                                                                            Photo: Geotechnical Monitoring Center (CMG)
The use of new technologies is also noteworthy. Vale acts actively to increase ore recovery in the beneficiation process, reduce tailings, implement new disposal solutions and improve operational controls and dam safety management.
 

Emergency Management


In the Ferrous business, Vale's integrated risk management system for geotechnical structures is based on three main pillars:
 
People
Teams specialized in dam control and management are dedicated to Vale's structures.
Processes
Reassessment of safety, risk and emergency management procedures throughout the structure cycle, from project implementation to operation. In all phases, a risk prognosis is made, and a state of alert is established in case of an emergency. The safety policy for dams and geotechnical mining structures, established in October 2020, and Vale's normative standard for business risk management, revised in December 2020, guide this work.

Information Systems
There are two systems in the Ferrous business:

1) Geotechnical: stores structural maintenance and monitoring data;

2) GRG: stores technical data of the structures and the Dam Safety Plan (PSB).

New technologies for dam monitoring:
 
Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • 24-hour video monitoring;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Water level monitoring in different points of the dam, with specific instruments;
     
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Measuring the dam's response to seismic activity with specific instruments;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Radars monitoring;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Use of satellite and drone images to monitor soil conservation and displacement;
     
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Installation of sirens.

    Dams emergency levels:

    Emergency situations are considered those arising from adverse events that affect the dam safety and may cause damage to its structural and operational integrity, preservation of life, health, property and environment. The emergency should be assessed and classified according to the levels below:
     
    Título
    Título
    Título
    Level of emergency
    Level 1
    Detailment:
    When an anomaly is detected that results in the maximum score for the state of conservation or for any other situation with a potential compromise in the safety of the structure, requiring special daily inspections.

    Comunication to:
    the Brazilian National Mining Agency (ANM), environmental agencies and Civil Defense (national, state and municipal).

    Vale’s structures
    Immediate actions:
     signaling instability and intensifying monitoring.
    Dams:  5-Mutuca, 6, 7A, B, Campo Grande, Capitão do Mato, Dicão Leste, Doutor, Maravilhas II, Norte/Laranjeiras, PDE 3, Peneirinha, Pontal, Vargem Grande.
    Level 2
    Detailment:
    When the result of the actions taken in the anomaly referred to in Level 1 is classified as “uncontrolled” or “not extinguished”, requiring new special inspections and interventions.

    Comunication to:
    the ANM, environmental agencies, Civil Defense (national, state and municipal), Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) and Secondary Safety Zone (ZSS)

    Vale’s structures
    Immediate actions: 
    from that level, people in the ZAS are evacuated.
    Dams: Área IX, Dique de Pedra, Forquilha I, Forquilha II, Grupo, Xingu.
    Level 3
    Detailment:
    Situation of imminent or ongoing rupture.

    Comunication to:
    the ANM, environmental agencies, Civil Defense (national, state and municipal), ZAS and ZSS.

    Vale’s structures
    Immediate actions: 
    Care is extended to people who are in the ZSS through additional educational measures.
    Dams: B3/B4, Forquilha III, Sul Superior.
    Level of Emergency
    Detailment
    Comunication to
    Vale’s structures
    When an anomaly is detected that results in the maximum score for the state of conservation or for any other situation with a potential compromise in the safety of the structure, requiring special daily inspections.
    the Brazilian National Mining Agency (ANM), environmental agencies and Civil Defense (national, state and municipal).

    Immediate actions: signaling instability and intensifying monitoring.
    Dams:  5-Mutuca, 6, 7A, B, Campo Grande, Capitão do Mato, Dicão Leste, Doutor, Maravilhas II, Norte/Laranjeiras, PDE 3, Peneirinha, Pontal,  Vargem Grande.

    When the result of the actions taken in the anomaly referred to in Level 1 is classified as “uncontrolled” or “not extinguished”, requiring new special inspections and interventions.
    the ANM, environmental agencies, Civil Defense (national, state and municipal), Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) and Secondary Safety Zone (ZSS)
    Immediate actions: from that level, people in the ZAS are evacuated.
    Dams: Área IX, B3/B4, Dique de Pedra, Forquilha I, Forquilha II, Grupo, Xingu.
    Situation of imminent or ongoing rupture.
    the ANM, environmental agencies, Civil Defense (national, state and municipal), ZAS and ZSS.
    Immediate actions: Care is extended to people who are in the ZSS through additional educational measures.
    Dams: Forquilha III, Sul Superior.
                                      ¹Updated on 12/02/2022
    ¹Updated on 11/16/2022

     
    Emergency Level updated on 11/16/2022
    Increase in Emergency Level
    • Quantity: -
    • Structure: -
    Unchanged Emergency Level
    • Quantity: 23
    • Structure: -
    Decrease in Emergency Level
    • Quantity: 1
    • Structure: Porteirinha had its emergency level 1 removed
    Emergency Level updated on 12/02/2022
    Quantity
    Structure
    -
    -
    22
    -
    1
    B3/B4 dam had its emergency level lowered from 3 to 2 

    List of structures at emergency level

    Structures with upstream raising method

    Iron Ore

    Structure




    Operational Status



    Municipality


    Purpose


    DCE


    Emergency Level



    Emergency level date
    Área IX
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    01/13/2022
    B3/B4
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    12/02/2022
    Campo Grande
    Inactive
    Mariana
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    04/01/2019
    Doutor
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    05/18/2021
    Forquilha I
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    10/08/2020
    Forquilha II
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    02/20/2019
    Forquilha III
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    3
    03/27/2019
    Grupo
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    02/20/2019
    Pontal
    Inactive
    Itabira
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    03/31/2019
    Sul Superior
    Inactive
    Barão de Cocais
    Tailings
    Negative
    3
    03/22/2019
    Vargem Grande
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    06/04/2019
    Xingu
    Inactive
    Mariana
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    09/29/2020

    Structures with downstream raising method

    Iron Ore


    Structure



    Operational Status



    Municipality



    Purpose



    DCE



    Emergency Level



    Emergency level date
    5 - Mutuca
    Active
    Nova Lima
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    07/29/2020
    Maravilhas II
    Inactive
    Itabirito
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    04/01/2019
    Peneirinha
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    04/01/2020

    Structures with sigle step, center line or unknown raising method

    Iron Ore


    Structure




    Operational Status



    Municipality



    Purpose



    DCE



    Emergency Level



    Emergency level date
    6
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Sediments
    Negative
    1
    06/09/2020
    7A
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Sediments
    Negative
    1
    06/09/2020
    B
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Sediments
    Negative
    1
    04/01/2019
    Capitão do Mato
    Inactive
    Nova Lima
    Sediments
    Negative
    1
    08/30/2022
    Dicão Leste
    Active
    Mariana
    Sediments
    Positive
    1
    09/30/2022
    Dique de Pedra
    Inactive
    Ouro Preto
    Tailings
    Negative
    2
    02/22/2022
    Norte Laranjeiras
    Inactive
    Barão de Cocais
    Tailings
    Negative
    1
    11/30/2021
    PDE 3
    Active
    São Gonçalo do Rio de Baixo
    Sediments
    Negative
    1
    09/01/2021

    List of structures at emergency level


     

    Structures with upstream raising method

    Área IX
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Ouro Preto
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 2
    • Emergency level date: 01/13/2022
    B3/B4
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 3
    • Emergency level date: 03/27/2019
    Campo Grande
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Mariana
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 04/01/2019
    Doutor
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Ouro Preto
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 05/18/2021
    Forquilha I
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Ouro Preto
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 2
    • Emergency level date: 10/08/2020
    Forquilha II
    Unidade de negócio: Minério de Ferro
    Status Operacional: Operação
    Localização: São Gonçalo do Rio de Baixo
    Finalidade: Sedimentos
    DCE: Negativa
    Nível de Emergência: 1
    Data de nível de emergência: 01/09/2011
    Forquilha III
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Ouro Preto
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 3
    • Emergency level date: 03/27/2019
    Grupo
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Ouro Preto
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 2
    • Emergency level date: 02/20/2019
    Pontal
    Business unit: Iron ore
    Operational Status: Inactive
    Municipality: Itabira
    Purpose: Tailings
    DCE: Negative
    Emergency Level: 1
    Emergency level date: 03/31/2019
    Sul Superior
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Barão de Cocais
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 3
    • Emergency level date: 03/22/2019
    Vargem Grande
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 06/04/2019
    Xingu
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Mariana
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 2
    • Emergency level date: 09/29/2020

    Structures with downstream raising method

    5 - Mutuca
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Active
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 07/29/2020
    Maravilhas II
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Itabirito
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 04/01/2019
    Peneirinha
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 04/01/2020

    Structures with sigle step, center line or unknown raising method

    6
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Sediments
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 06/09/2020
    7A
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Sediments
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 06/09/2020
    B
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Sediments
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 04/01/2019
    Capitão do Mato
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Nova Lima
    • Purpose: Sediments
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 08/30/2022
    Dicão Leste
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Active
    • Municipality: Mariana
    • Purpose: Sediments
    • DCE: Positive
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 09/30/2022
    Dique de Pedra
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Ouro Preto
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 2
    • Emergency level date: 02/22/2022
    Norte Laranjeiras
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Inactive
    • Municipality: Barão de Cocais
    • Purpose: Tailings
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 11/30/2021
    PDE 3
    • Business unit: Iron ore
    • Operational Status: Active
    • Municipality: São Gonçalo do Rio de Baixo
    • Purpose: Sediments
    • DCE: Negative
    • Emergency Level: 1
    • Emergency level date: 09/01/2021

    Additional document:

    Measures for emergency level structures


    For the 15 structures with active level 1 emergency protocols, Vale has intensified actions for monitoring and signaling instability, in addition to carrying out studies, actions and complementary works to improve safety, as appropriate.

    The 9 structures with active levels 2 and 3 emergency protocols had their respective Self-Rescue Zones¹ evacuated on a preventive basis, with the removal and relocation of families residing downstream from the structures (when applicable). In these cases, Vale adopts measures to strengthen stability and safety conditions, such as keeping the reservoirs dry, reducing water supply, and implementing by-pass channels.

    Vale also maintains containment structures downstream of dams in critical conditions to prevent tailings from reaching the Secondary Safety Zone² of the municipalities in an extreme hypothetical scenario of rupture.
     
    • In 2020, two containment structures were completed downstream the Sul Superior dams, in Barão de Cocais, and B3/B4 in Nova Lima (MG).

       
    ECJ ³ B3/B4 33m height | 221m length
     
    ECJ ³ Sul Superior 36m height | 330m length
    ECJ ³ B3/B4 33m height | 221m length
    ECJ ³ Sul Superior 36m height | 330m length
    • In 2021, Vale completed the containment structure downstream the Forquilhas I, II, III, IV and Grupo dams, in Ouro Preto (MG).
    • In 2022, Vale will complete the construction of one containment structure downstream the Pontal tailings and storage facilities, in Itabira (MG), related to the Dikes Minervino e Cordão Nova Vista.
    • We are currently working on defining the solutions to implement two other downstream containment structure in Minas Gerais.
    • Use of remotely operated equipment to remove tailings in critical TSFs.

       

    Note : Self-Rescue Zones: Region where there is not enough time for the competent authorities to intervene in emergency situations. For its delimitation, a distance that corresponds to a time of arrival of the flood wave equal to thirty minutes or 10 km must be adopted. ² Secondary Safety Zones: Region contained in the Flood Map and which cannot be defined as ZAS. ³ ECJ = Upstream Tailing Storage Facility (TSF).


    Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) for Mining Dams


    Part of the Dam Safety Plan (PSB), EPRP is a technical document filed with city halls and Civil Defenses (municipal, state, and federal) and which defines immediate actions in case of emergency.

    Objectives:
    • Avoid or minimize loss of lives, social, economic and environmental impacts;
       
    • Identify and classify situations and/or events that may jeopardize the integrity of the dam's structure;
       
    • Establish emergency actions;
       
    • Inform the flow of communication with the various agents involved.
    EPRPs for Vale’s structures are submitted to the City Halls, Civil Defenses and the Minas Gerais State environmental bodies.
     

    Content of EPRP


    Community engagement:
     

    So that residents near the dams know how to react in emergency situations.

    • Conducting simulations with communities;
       
    • Partnership with the Civil Defense;
       
    • Siren and alert systems;
       
    • Open channel with the community for questions and clarifications about the EPRP.
       
    Related parties:

    Entrepreneur

    Private or governmental agent who operates the dam for own or collective benefit.

    Technician responsible

    In charge of the project's professional duties: dam construction, operation, maintenance, or monitoring.

    Coordinator

    Agent appointed by the entrepreneur to coordinate the EPRP, committed to being available to act promptly in the emergency situations of the dam.

    Security Team

    Group formed by professionals from the entrepreneur's own staff or by professionals contracted specifically for this purpose.

    External agents

    Public authorities responsible for supervising and managing dam safety. They act in case of emergency.

    Geotechnical Monitoring Center

    Team of the entrepreneur which continuously monitors the dam and performs the actions previously established for emergency situations.
    Definition of areas close to dams:

    Used to classify the surrounding populations in case of emergencies.
     

    Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS)

    Region where there is not enough time for the competent authorities to intervene in emergency situations. For its delimitation, a distance that corresponds to a time of arrival of the flood wave equal to thirty minutes or 10 km must be adopted.

    Secondary Safety Zone (ZSS)

    Region contained in the Flood Map and which cannot be defined as ZAS.

    Expected Actions Flow - EPRP:
     



    Brumadinho (MG)

    In the episode at the Córrego do Feijão mine dam, in Brumadinho (MG), shortly after the event were created:
     
    • Immediate Response Group
      Vale appointed one of its executives to lead the group and consolidate all emergency actions, of any nature, related to those affected by the dam breach.

      On the occasion, the executive moved permanently to Belo Horizonte, in order to intensify the agility and efficiency of the actions.
       
    • Humanitarian Aid Committee
      With a team of social workers and psychologists, the committee provided assistance to those affected - which included accommodation, food, water and medicines for those affected and their families.

       

    Initiatives in dam management


    Since the dam rupture in Brumadinho, the assessments carried out by Vale have been intensified in order to support the implementation of preventive and corrective actions in all structures.

     
    1.
    Safety and Operational Excellence Office reporting to the CEO;
    2.
    Risk management composed of 3 lines of defense;
    3.
    Creation of the Independent Special Advisory Committee on Dam Safety (CIAESB)¹, which reports directly to the Board of Directors;
    4.
    Formation of a specific Risk Committee for geotechnical risks;
    5.
    Additional strengthening to increase the safety factor of the dams;
    6.
    Implementation of the Geotechnical Monitoring Center (CMG);
    7.
    Restructuring of its mining dam and tailings management system.
    1.
    Safety and Operational Excellence Office reporting to the CEO;
    2.
    Risk management composed of 3 lines of defense;
    3.
    Creation of the Independent Special Advisory Committee on Dam Safety (CIAESB)¹, which reports directly to the Board of Directors;
    4.
    Formation of a specific Risk Committee for geotechnical risks;
    5.
    Additional strengthening to increase the safety factor of the dams;
    6.
    Implementation of the Geotechnical Monitoring Center (CMG);
    7.
    Restructuring of its mining dam and tailings management system.
    Note : ¹ In April 2021, the Independent Ad Hoc Consulting Committee for Dam Safety “CIAE-SB”, created immediately after the dam rupture, completed its work, and provided its final report to our Board of Directors. 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– GISTM. We have developed action plans to address all CIAE-SB recommendations, which are regularly assessed in a multiple layer system and delays must be justified and approved by senior leadership.
    Safety, health, and operational excellence Area reporting to the CEO
    • Department led by an Executive Director who defines technical parameters;
    • Support the use of standard risk and asset management models by the operational area;
    • Focus on standards and procedures;
    • Independent and transparent audit;
    • Office dedicated to Geotechnics, focusing on the adoption of best practices.
    Business areas and functional units
    • Responsible for the management and safety in operations;
    • Comply with operational excellence guidelines;
    • Asset risk management reports;
    • Ensure technical expertise within the operational teams;
    • Mandatory VPS (Vale Production System).

    Safety, health, and operational excellence Area reporting to the CEO

    Business areas and functional units
    • Department led by an Executive Director who defines technical parameters;
    • Support the use of standard risk and asset management models by the operational area;
    • Focus on standards and procedures;
    • Independent and transparent audit;
    • Office dedicated to Geotechnics, focusing on the adoption of best practices.
    • Responsible for the management and safety in operations;
    • Comply with operational excellence guidelines;
    • Asset risk management reports;
    • Ensure technical expertise within the operational teams;
    • Mandatory VPS (Vale Production System).

    Routine, Performance and Risk Management System (RPR)

    Vale's RPR is intended to cover all aspects relevant to the safety of a dam or tailings deposit.

    In this system, the following management processes are monitored:
     
    • routine applied to the structure, through operational discipline;
    • performance of the geotechnical asset, made possible by continuous and formal monitoring by the Engineer of Record;
    • risks, through the identification of failure modes and their critical controls, insertion and monitoring via the business risk management platform.

    Risk management of tailings dams

     The governance and the updating of dam defense lines increase the flow of data within the company, allowing information related to risks and safety to be constantly reviewed and reach senior management.

    Strong governance and oversight for TSF¹ management supported by tailored executive compensation
         
          Executive compensation

     
    • 35-60% of short-term variable compensation tied to Health & Safety, Operational Risk and VPS targets
    • The Safety and Operational Excellence Office has no target tied to production or financial metrics

    Note : ¹ TSF stands for Tailings Storage Facility, with criteria agreed by the International Council on Mining and Metals’ Tailings Advisory Group in response to the Church of England information request, which may differ from the Brazilian National Mining Agency criteria. ² A requirement by the Global Standard Industry on Tailings Management.

    The risk management of Vale's tailings dams is fully aligned with the company's Management Model (VPS), divided into three levels:


       Technincal

    • Basic geotechnical guidelines;
    • Operational discipline;
    • Standards for minimum activities and routines;
    • Elaboration of 25 normative standards;
    • Elaboration of a policy for dam safety;
    • Integration of geotechnical risks with the BRM;
    • Project governance;
    • Minimum requirements.

    Method

    • Implementation of a model based on the Routine, Performance and Risk Management System (RPR);
    • Introduction of the Engineer of Record (EoR) and continuous monitoring of the structures;
    • Application of HIRA’ ¹for dams;
    • Maintenance Control Planning (PCM);
    • Implementation of the Floor Management Development System (FMDS);
    • Strategy unfolding;
    • Governance.

    Leadership

    • Review of the organizational structure;
    • Defined roles and responsibilities;
    • Elaboration of RACI matrix (tool to visualize responsibilities) and review aspects of human resources;
    • Behavioral transformation and enpowerment.

    Indicators

    Note : ¹ HIRA stands for Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment methodology. ² TSF stands for Tailings Storage Facility. ³ Includes Vale’s own facilities and excludes non-operated joint ventures.​


    The system follows the Three Lines of Defense:
    1.
    First Line of Defense - Formed by the risk owners and process executors of the business, project, administrative and support areas of the company. They are directly responsible for the identification, assessment, monitoring and management of risk events in an integrated manner.
    2.
    Second Line of Defense -Corresponds to the areas of occupational safety, risk management, internal controls, standardization, legal compliance and specialized areas - such as operational excellence and asset management -, supervising and supporting the work of the first line of defense.
    3.
    Third Line of Defense - 
    Composed of areas with total independence from management: Internal Audit and the Ombudsman unit. Both carry out assessments and inspections, taking into account their respective areas of operation. The result of this process is an exempt validation that includes the effectiveness of risk management, internal controls and compliance.
    In addition to the 3 conventional lines, Vale's new Risk Management system was designed with the incorporation of additional and redundant layers. The objective is to increase the number of lines and layers of defense to 8. The figure below illustrates all the layers that make up the system:

     

    Note: ¹TSFs = Tailings Storage Facility

    Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management

    Vale is focused on the evolution of its Tailings & Dams Management System ("TDMS") for the Ferrous, Coal and Base Metals businesses. During 2019 and 2020, Vale worked closely with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and participated actively in the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management ("GISTM") – an effort whose purpose is to improve safety through all phases of the tailings storage facilities lifecycle.
     

    As of 5 August 2020, Vale and all ICMM members are committed to implement the GISTM. All tailings facilities operated by Vale with “Extreme” or “Very high” potential consequences will be in conformance with the GISTM by 5 August 2023. All other tailings facilities operated by Vale not in a state of safe closure will be in conformance with the GISTM by 5 August 2025.
     

    Vale’s Board of Directors approved, in October 2020, a new Policy for Dam Safety and Geotechnical Mining Structure, which counts with the GISTM as one of its references. Among other guidelines, the policy enforces that all components of Vale’s TDMS are designed with continuous improvement elements, using and applying the best available technology and best practices according to international institutions, including the ICMM.
     

    The company has been working on the evolution of its TDMS prior to the GISTM and Vale will comply with the Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management:

     

    GISTM¹ Journey and the commitment to compliance
     

    Note: ¹ GISTM stands for Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. ² GISTM public disclosure in March/2022. ³ Tailings Storage Facility with criteria agreed by the International Council on Mining and Metals’ Tailings Advisory Group in response to the Church of England information request, which may differ from Brazilian National Mining Agency criteria.

    Common gaps and focus areas
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Climate change incorporated in the facility design;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Seismic studies;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Social community engagement and communication;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • AE engagement;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Design Basis Report;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Succession plan for key role holders in the TSF safety matter;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Establishment of mechanism to recognize, reward, and protect employees who identify and report opportunities for improving TSF management ;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Closure plan.

    Concrete steps towards GISTM implementation

    Non-exhaustive examples
     

    Affected communities

    • Grievance Global Standard released on October 30, 2020;

    • Human Rights Global Policy and Global Standard Procedure for engagement with Indigenous People and Traditional Communities;

    • Brazilian legislation requires FPIC;

    • All process that requires EPRP review has an Indigenous and Quilombola component.

    Integrated knowledge base

    • The EPRP¹ registers the project-affected people (socio-economic and environmental);

    • The most at-risk groups are also identified;

    • Probabilistic seismicity hazards and climate change assessments being performed;

    • TSF break studies under review, following best practices.

    Design, construc-tion, operation & monitoring

    • Consequence of failure classification being reviewed in accordance with GISTM;

    • Addressing brittle failure modes with conservative design criteria (implementation of backup dams for the critical upstream TSF);

    • Design Basis Report prepared by EoR’s;

    • HIRA to assess risks and critical controls, geotechnical monitoring centers with TARPS.

    Management and governance

    • Policies, systems and accountabilities completely reviewed;

    • ITRB and EoR appointed;

    • Multi levels of review implemented;

    • Geotechnical knowledge portal implemented;

    • Organizational culture with VPS enforcement;

    • Ombudsman channel with whistleblower protection.

    Emergency response and long-term recovery

    • EPRP¹ publicly disclosed;

    • Engagement with public sector agencies in post-failure response strategies;

    • Brumadinho reparation enabling participation of the affected people in the restoration and recovery works and ongoing monitoring activities.

    Public disclosure and access to information

    • GISTM implementation commitment disclosed at the ESG Portal;

    • ESG Portal under frequent review to accommodate all the TSF and information requested;

    • Monthly EoR reports publicly disclosed.

    Affected communities

    • Grievance Global Standard released on October 30, 2020;

    • Human Rights Global Policy and Global Standard Procedure for engagement with Indigenous People and Traditional Communities;

    • Brazilian legislation requires FPIC;

    • All process that requires EPRP review has an Indigenous and Quilombola component.

    Integrated knowledge base

    • The EPRP¹ registers the project-affected people (socio-economic and environmental);

    • The most at-risk groups are also identified;

    • Probabilistic seismicity hazards and climate change assessments being performed;

    • TSF break studies under review, following best practices.

    Design, construc-tion, operation & monitoring

    • Consequence of failure classification being reviewed in accordance with GISTM;

    • Addressing brittle failure modes with conservative design criteria (implementation of backup dams for the critical upstream TSF);

    • Design Basis Report prepared by EoR’s;

    • HIRA to assess risks and critical controls, geotechnical monitoring centers with TARPS.

    Management and governance

    • Policies, systems and accountabilities completely reviewed;

    • ITRB and EoR appointed;

    • Multi levels of review implemented;

    • Geotechnical knowledge portal implemented;

    • Organizational culture with VPS enforcement;

    • Ombudsman channel with whistleblower protection.

    Emergency response and long-term recovery

    • EPRP¹ publicly disclosed;

    • Engagement with public sector agencies in post-failure response strategies;

    • Brumadinho reparation enabling participation of the affected people in the restoration and recovery works and ongoing monitoring activities.

    Public disclosure and access to information

    • GISTM implementation commitment disclosed at the ESG Portal;

    • ESG Portal under frequent review to accommodate all the TSF and information requested;

    • Monthly EoR reports publicly disclosed.

    Note: ¹ Emergency Action Plans for Mining Dams

    As per the GISTM adherence timeline, the gap-assessment process started in mid-2021 through a self-assessment conducted for all Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF’s). To give more robustness to this self-diagnosis process, an external gap-assessment service was contracted for a sample of 10 TSF’s selected to represent the external audit work. This work served as a reference to more faithfully establishing the starting point for elaborating action plans to comply with the GISTM requirements. For further information about the process, its results and the journey for full adherence to GISTM access:
    Learn about other Vale's ongoing initiatives to support the GISTM implementation:
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Organizational structure, qualification and requirements, assessment by EoR (Engineer on Record), and risk analysis, policies and processes;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Cultural transformation as a key element in the management process;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Formalization of key normative documents and standardization;
    Pessoas e comunidades
  • Identificação e indenização
  • Educação e cultura
  • Saúde e bem-estar
  • Comunidades tradicionais e indígenas
  • Engajamento e diálogo
  • Fomento à economia
  • Public Disclosure, transparency and information dissemination.
    Vale reiterates its commitment to safety, transparency and the adoption of the known best practices for managing its tailings facilities.

    Improvements and initiatives to reduce the use of dams


    Vale plans to significantly reduce the use of dams and will invest in alternatives which allow wet processing operations to be replaced by safer and more sustainable processes. Know the company's goals for this initiative:
     
    • 70% of iron ore production with dry processing by 2025;
       
    • US$ 2.3 billion in investments between 2020 and 2025 to increase the use of filtration and dry stacking to 16% of total production;
       
    • Increased development of new technologies, such as dry iron ore magnetic separation, from New Steel (company acquired in 2018).
     

    Viable Solutions

    Dry processing

    Compared to wet processing, the technique reduces total water consumption by 93% (on average) and increases productivity due to greater resource savings, less energy consumption, fewer production phases, less equipment and simpler and safer operation.
    Compared to wet processing, the technique reduces total water consumption by 93% (on average) and increases productivity due to greater resource savings, less energy consumption, fewer production phases, less equipment and simpler and safer operation.
     
    • In Pará, about 80% of production is already dry-processing based;
       
    • The main plant in Carajás (Pará) is in process of converting to natural moisture. Out of the plant's 17 processing lines, 11 are already dry. The remaining 6 wet processing lines will be converted by 2023;
       
    • Processing plants in Curionópolis and Canaã dos Carajás (both in Pará) also do not use water to treat the ore;
      ​​​​​​​
    • In Minas Gerais, dry processing was expanded from 20% (2016) to 32% (2019). Today, this type of processing is present in several units, such as Brucutu, Alegria, Fábrica Nova, Fazendão, Abóboras, Mutuca and Pico.

    Iron ore production by method Mt

    Dry stacking
     


    The technique will reduce Vale's dependence on tailings dams in the medium and long term. It consists of filtering and stacking partially or totally dry tailings.
    • Investment of around US $ 1.8 billion, between 2020 and 2024, in some sites, including Cauê and Conceição (in Itabira) and Brucutu (in São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo) - all in Minas Gerais.​
    Magnetic concentration


    Eliminates the use of water in the concentration process, allowing the waste to be disposed of in piles as “sterile”, similar to the dry stacking process.
    • Target of investing in the construction, in Minas Gerais, of an industrial plant for magnetic concentration with a production capacity of 1.5 million tons per year;
       
    • The Brazilian technology is known as Fines Dry Magnetic Separation - FDMS, exclusive and developed by New Steel;
       
    • Project start-up by 2022.

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