Risk of collapse at Brazil’s Braskem mine in Alagoas rises

Jonathan Lopez

11-Dec-2023

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Braskem remains on red alert after the sinking of a mine in the state of Alagoas accelerated over the weekend, the Brazilian petrochemicals major said on Monday.

The fast sinking on Sunday 10 December puts the mine 18’s collapse a step closer.

On 29 November, the civil defense service in Maceio, the capital of Alagoas where Braskem’s facilities are located, declared an emergency due to the potential collapse of the mine in Lagoa Mundau, in Maceio’s neighbourhood of Mutange.

“Yesterday [10 December], at 13:15, cameras monitoring the surroundings of cavity [mine] 18 recorded atypical movement of water in the Mundau lagoon, in the section above this cavity, indicating movement in the lagoon’s soil (potential collapse),” said Braskem.

“The entire area, which has been monitored in recent days, was already isolated. The authorities were immediately notified, and Braskem continues to collaborate with them. The company remains mobilized and monitoring the situation uninterruptedly with the competent authorities.”

Credit rating agency Fitch said cash flow at Braskem could be affected in coming quarters if the mine collapses and more claims are filed against the producer.

Braskem has faced financial liabilities since 2018 after an earthquake in the area caused the displacement of subsoil following the extraction of rock salt by the company. Thousands had to be relocated in the aftermath.

Braskem used the rock salt in the production of caustic soda and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), among others.

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