Brazilian bauxite tailings dam burst affects local towns

Brazilian bauxite tailings dam burst affects local towns

Brazil’s State of Minas Gerais Government shut down the Mineracao Rio Pomba bauxite mine after a tailings dam burst.

The accident is the latest in a series of weather-related disasters that have killed dozens of people and left more than 8,000 homeless.

A state spokesman said the government has decided to shut the mine at least until a containment facility can be constructed. Heavy rains caused the dam to break, releasing 2 million cubic meters of mud into the Muriae River. However, state environmental regulators said no toxic waste was contained in the mud. The same tailings dam also ruptured last March.

The extent of the damage has yet to be calculated. Trucks are transporting drinking water to the impacted area which includes the towns of Mirai and Mueriae, according to the Associated Press.

Mineracao Rio Pombo Cataguases is owned by industrial group Industrias Quimicas Cataguases. The bauxite mine produces 1.15 million tonnes a year of refractory bauxite.

A Rio Pomba spokesman said radio reports that 5,000 local residents have been forced to flee their homes because of the incident were exaggerated.


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