Brazil's Vale says risk of dam break at Gongo Soco mine has diminished


SAO PAULO, May 28 (Reuters) - An unstable embankment at Vale SA's VALE3.SA Gongo Soco mining pit in Brazil has a lower risk than previously thought of collapsing in a way that would destabilize the nearby Sul Superior dam, the iron ore miner said in a statement on Tuesday.

Last week, an environmental official for the state of Minas Gerais estimated a 10-15% chance of the Sul Superior dam losing integrity due to tremors from the expected landslide in the mining pit. That put the nearby town of Barao de Cocais on high alert, with officials running evacuation drills to avoid a repeat of the tragedy about 40 miles (64 km) away, where a Vale dam burst in January, unleashing a torrent of mud that killed over 240 people.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora Additional reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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