Minas Gerais govt shuts Rio Pomba on environ accidentadmin
Brazil’s Minas Gerais state government has shut down local bauxite mining company Rio Pomba Cataguases after an environmental accident, state news agency Agãªncia Minas reported.
Specifically, a residue dam ruptured in Miraã city, releasing some two million cubic meters of mud into the Fubã¡ river.
The material is not toxic, the report said, adding that Rio Pomba must pay a fine and cannot rebuild the dam, due to the risk of future accidents. The same dam broke in March last year.
“The [Minas Gerais] government has closed for good both bauxite mining and treatment operations at Rio Pomba,” a state spokesperson told BNamericas. The company has the right to appeal against the decision, he said.
Meanwhile, the extent of the damage has yet to be calculated, the spokesperson said, adding it could vary from 500,000 reais (US$233,054) to 50mn reais and that works are underway in the region to evaluate the situation.
Rio Pomba is part of group Grupo Quãmica Cataguases.