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Hydro Alunorte operations continue despite heavy rainfall, supports communities

Water levels in the basins surrounding the solid residues deposits are now decreasing and Hydro Alunorte is operating as normal, despite heavy rainfall in the region the last week.

workers inspecting red mud dam

The basins collecting water are prepared to hold rainwater falling on the deposit, along with the water released from the solid residue deposit. All water is treated and tested to be within the operating license, prior to release. Hydro’s commitment to safe and environmentally sound operations is universal and absolute. 

In order to handle the increased amount of water following the heavy rainfall last week, Hydro Alunorte increased the number of water pumps from eight to thirteen, pumping water from the containment basins of the solid residue deposit (DRS1) to the industrial effluent treatment station. The volume of treated liquid has also been increased from about six thousand cubic meters per hour to about nine thousand cubic meters per hour.

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In order to handle the increased amount of water following the heavy rainfall last week, Hydro Alunorte increased the number of water pumps from eight to thirteen, pumping water from the containment basins of the solid residue deposit (DRS1) to the industrial effluent treatment station. (Photo: Roberto Ribeiro)

Hydro Alunorte conducts online monitoring of the entire process and is reporting basin levels daily to the Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainability of Pará State. The alumina production at the refinery has not been impacted, and internal and external inspections have not found proof of overflow and leakage from the bauxite residue deposits at Hydro Alunorte. The water has been collected, channeled and treated in the industrial effluent treatment station as normal.

Following the heavy rainfall, Hydro has formed an expert task force to lead a comprehensive review at Hydro Alunorte. The task force aims to establish and verify the facts and circumstances related to the rainfall, and Hydro will continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities in an open and transparent manner to help facilitate further work and inspections.

Local communities affected

Hydro is concerned about the situation and for the people and local communities of Barcarena affected by the flooding and are cooperating with the municipal and state public agencies to distribute clean water to affected areas. Friday, representatives started to distribute drinking water to the communities of Vila Nova, Burajuba and Bom Futuro to aid the situation for the nearby communities. Hydro has also held dialogue meetings with community leaders.

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