Vale CEO resigns following fatal Brazil tailings dam collapse

The CEO of crisis-struck mining firm Vale has resigned amid growing public and political pressure following the collapse of a tailings dam at a mine in Brazil, which killed at least 186 people.

Fabio Schvartsman and several other senior executives resigned on a ‘temporary’ basis on Saturday after prosecutors recommended their dismissal, in the wake of fresh reports implicating Vale’s leadership in the disaster.

Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo reported that a Vale manager had told executives the integrity of the dam, near the town of Brumadinho in Minas Gerais, had worsened, although the company vigorously denied the report.

In addition to the confirmed death toll, 122 people are still missing more than a month after the accident occurred at the dam.

In a letter to Vale’s board, Schvartsman said: “Even totally assured of my righteous ways and having fulfilled my duty, I request the board to accept my temporary leave in the benefit of the company’s continued operations.”

Vale’s head of ferrous minerals and coal, Peter Poppinga, planning director Lucio Flavio Gallon Cavalli and regional director Silmar Magalhães Silva also resigned.

Schvartsman will be replaced by Eduardo Bartolomeo, an executive director, as the interim CEO.