BRUMADINHO, Brazil (Reuters) – Residents of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais reacted with indifference and in many cases anger at a series of measures miner Vale SA has pledged to adopt following last week’s dam burst that almost certainly killed over 300 people.
“Too Late” read the newspaper of record here, O Estado de Minas, after Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner, said it would take up to 10 percent of its production offline and spend 5 billion reais ($1.36 billion) to decommission 10 dams like the one that collapsed at its Corrego do Feijao mine last Friday.
With some 99 people confirmed dead and another 250 missing, according to firefighters, the tailings dam collapse in the town of Brumadinho may be Brazil’s deadliest-ever mine disaster.
In recent days, Vale has vowed to keep paying taxes on the paralyzed mine and donate 100,000 reais to the family of each victim. For some people mourning loved ones, those pledges looked derisory.
“It’s shameful for Vale,” said Dilson Menezes de Oliveira, 58, who stood looking at the spot where his 32-year-old cousin lies buried after the inn where he was staying at was engulfed by a wave of mud and toxic waste.