Vale last week announced the commissioning of operations at the Germano Complex in Mariana, Minas Gerais state, with the operation of one of its three concentrators and the new tailings filtration plant, which will allow 80% of the total tailings to be dry stacked. The resumption of activities will be gradual, with the pelletizing plant in Ubu in Espírito Santo state, starting production in the next 15 days. The company expects initial production of 8 million tonnes of iron ore per year.
Samarco said it has developed a new security system, which includes a monitoring and inspection center. The company also conducts tests to reuse the tailings waste in construction. Four kilometers of roads in the Mariana region have already been paved with reused material.
On November 5, 2015, the dam, owned by Samarco, controlled by Vale and BHP, burst, releasing 39.2 million cubic meters of tailings waste in the Rio Doce Basin, killing 19 people. It was Brazil’s biggest environmental disaster.