March 5, 2019 / 6:33 PM / 13 days ago

Brazil's mining minister says Vale 'very important' to economy

TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy Bento Albuquerque said on Tuesday that Vale SA was "very important" to his country's economy and played a key role in its development.

The comments, made to Reuters in an interview, come less than two months after a tailings dam controlled by Vale burst in the interior Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, likely killing more than 300 people and releasing massive amounts of toxic sludge.

"The company is very important for Brazil, for the economy of many states in Brazil, and we consider them to have an important role in our development," Albuquerque said on the sidelines of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada mining conference in Toronto. (Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Writing by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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