Vale Ordered by Court to Close Main Port for Environment Breach

  • Judge outlines daily fines if co. fails to comply with ruling
  • Port adds to Vale woes following Samarco dam spill last year

A Brazilian court ordered Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, to temporarily close its main port following alleged environmental breaches.

The court in Brazil’s Espirito Santo state ordered a halt to export and import activities at the Tubarao port after iron ore and coal dust were found in the sea. Vale received the news from federal police “with surprise” and will use “all appropriate legal measures to ensure the re-establishment of its activities”, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Steel-making giant ArcelorMittal also uses the port, although the court’s decision won’t immediately affect its activities, it said in a statement. The Tubarao ruling adds to Vale’s woes after a dam breach at its Samarco Mineracao SA joint venture last year caused the death of at least 17 people and led to widespread environmental damage.

In the decision, federal Judge Marcus Vinicius Costa outlined fines for each day that Vale fails to comply with the halting of port activities. Vale has continually invested in environmental controls at the port in recent years, the miner said in a separate statement Thursday.

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