Fundão Tailings Dam Reconstruction

SECTOR: Mining & Tailings Ponds

Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil


Automated slope stability monitoring

After a rupture in the containment structure at the Fundão dam at the Germano plant in Mariana, Brazil, nearly 32.6 million mof mining tailings were released on November 5, 2015. Downstream, the Santarém dam retained a large portion of the tailings, however, the remaining portion flowed on to Bento Rodrigues located 8 kilometres away [1].

After the failure of Fundão, Samarco contacted Measurand to determine if ShapeArray would be a suitable monitoring instrument for the site. As part of the automation of geotechnical instrumentation at the Samarco Mine, Samarco Mineração S.A. selected SAAF model ShapeArrays for installing in key geotechnical structures on site. Measurand and our Brazilian distributor TecWise, assisted Samarco with the installation of vertical ShapeArrays in boreholes located in the Sela and Tulipa Dams to monitor for lateral deformation, and the installation of horizontal ShapeArrays in the Santarem Decant Gallery to monitor settlement.

[1] “Understand the collapse - Samarco.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 12-Jul-2018].