RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale SA on Tuesday posted a sharp output decline and $671 million in net additional provisions stemming from a deadly dam burst about a year ago, underlining the enduring effects of the incident on the iron ore giant.
In a statement, the company reported a 22.4% fall in fourth-quarter iron ore production from the same period last year and a 9.6% drop in quarterly terms. With that, Vale officially lost its position in 2019 as the world’s top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto.
In late January 2019, a Vale-owned tailings dam in the town of Brumadinho burst, killing some 270 people. The incident led to serious production stoppages, pledges by Vale to reconstruct or decommission many of its other dams and the firing of a number of executives.
In a filing, Vale said it was decreasing the provisions previously allotted to “decharacterizing,” or modifying some smaller internal dikes, at nine dams similar to the one that burst last year by $447 million.
However, the company said it will be decharacterizing some smaller internal dikes at some dams, which will lead to an additional $315 million in provisions.