‘Transformation’ is in the air at Vale – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 12, 2020)


Electric vehicle market, carbon neutral plans, environmental safeguards part of Sudbury miner’s current and future operations

The thrust of Dino Otranto’s presentation was on the transformational challenges ahead for base metal mining giant Vale to create a business that’s sustainable in the Sudbury basin for generations to come.

But the opening image he flashed to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd on Feb. 11 was of the Brumadinho tailings dam break at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Brazil on Jan. 25, 2019. It was the company’s second major dam breach in that country in four years.

The man-made environmental catastrophe at Brumadinho produced a toxic mudflow that swept away the company’s offices, and houses, farms and roads in a nearby village, and contaminated a major river system.

“On this day, 270 lives, most of which worked for us, were lost,” said Otranto, Vale’s chief operating officer in charge of mining, smelter and refinery operations in the northern hemisphere. It was the first time a dam break of that scale was videotaped live, and he encouraged everyone to go online and watch it.

The tragedy created a rift between Brazil’s largest mining company and the local community that, he said, no amount of compensation can ever repair. “It’s shocking. It’s a tragedy for our industry and it’s one that we can no longer ignore.”

For the rest of this article: https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/industry-news/mining/transformation-is-in-the-air-at-vale-2087345