Brazil has nearly 4,000 dams at high risk: minister

A view of a dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA after it collapsed, in Brumadinho, Brazil January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil has nearly 4,000 dams that are classified as having “high damage potential” or being at high risk, with 205 of those dams containing mineral waste, the country’s Regional Development Minister Gustavo Canuto said on Tuesday.

Brazil does not have the resources to audit all those dams immediately, so the government is working on prioritizing those that require the most urgent action, Canuto told reporters. A tailings dam at an iron ore mine owned by Vale SA in Minas Gerais state that burst last week has killed at least 65 and left nearly 300 missing.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Ricardo Brito; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama