By Christian Plumb and Roberto Samora
SAO PAULO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale VALE3.SA on Thursday reported a weaker-than-forecast 15% gain in quarterly earnings and reiterated that it was focused on dismantling dangerous tailings dams after one burst in a deadly accident earlier this year.
Vale's net profit rose to $1.654 billion from $1.408 billion in the year-ago period, missing the $2.72 billion mean of analysts polled by Refinitiv, asan increase in iron ore prices was partially offset by a slump in production following the accident.
Vale, which is still wrestling with the aftermath of the dam burst near the town of Brumadinho that killed more than 250 people, said it was making progress with its effort to de-characterize, or shut down, other such dams.
In particular, it is focusing on dismantling 9 tailings dams with "upstream" structures, which are cheaper to build but are considered more vulnerable to collapse by regulators.
Two such dams will be de-characterized next year and another in 2022, Vale said.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company said revenue rose 6.6% to $10.22 billion, helped by an increase in iron ore prices. That was below the average analysts' estimate of $10.5 billion.
Earlier this month, Vale reported a 17% slump in iron ore output in the third-quarter as it slowly began to resume production at various mines that had been paralyzed by regulators in the weeks following the Brumadinho disaster.
(Reporting By Christian Plumb and Roberto Samora Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Flynn)
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