Brazil prosecutors order Vale to shore up 18 mining dams after heavy rains

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A helmet with a logo of Vale SA is seen in a collapsed tailings dam owned by the company, in Brumadinho, Brazil February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Washington Alves

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors in the state of Minas Gerais said on Wednesday that 18 tailings dams at mines run by Vale (VALE3.SA) require some work to guarantee their safety following heavy rains in recent months.

In a statement, state prosecutors said an analysis of 31 dams had revealed the need for the preventative measures, although they stressed there was no direct damage to the highest risk structures.

"Based on the data provided, 18 dams were found to present issues that must be resolved to avoid problems with the functioning of the structures," prosecutors said, adding that all the 18 dams were run by Vale.

Prosecutors said Vale would have 10 days to present a report informing what action it would take.

Vale, in response to a request for comment, said it was conducting detailed evaluations of its dams to make necessary improvements, particularly looking at the issue of access which had been impacted by the rains.

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Reporting by Marta Nogueira, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by David Gregorio

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