Just over one year ago, on January 25th 2019, in Brumadinho, a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) failed catastrophically. The failure resulted in the release of over 12 million cubic meter of toxic mine waste, 259 deaths and 11 people missing. The impact on the environment was also disastrous. The metals contained in the released tailings contaminated the soil, ground water and rivers in the affected area.
In Brazil there are approximately 700 TSFs, of which 430 are located in the state of Minas Gerais in an area of 100 km2 around the city of Belo Horizonte. Most of the TSFs are built using the Upstream method, just like the failed Brumadinho dam.
The failure occurred less than four years after the Mariana dam failure in 2015. These two large scale, high impact, failures highlight the urgent need to improve dam safety in the mining sector. The Brazilian authorities requested help and advice on dam safety from the Dutch government, resulting in the formation of a DRR team.
The mission of the DRR team has been divided in two components:
1) fact finding plus preparation
2) delivery of a series of workshops focusing on the Dutch approach in dam safety
The fact-finding mission took place in October 2019, followed by a second visit in November for the workshops.
Find the full DRR-Team report here.