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CBA and UFV unveil initial findings of a groundbreaking study on water and soil in mining areas



The project evaluates water infiltration and soil water repellency in rehabilitated areas after bauxite mining in the Zona da Mata Mineira region   In recent months, Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) has initiated a pioneering study in its bauxite areas in the Miraí region of Zona da Mata Mineira in partnership with the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), aiming to make sustainability-driven improvements. This survey tracked the monitored water infiltration rates into the soil, and the extent to which mined and reclaimed land is more water repellent than undisturbed soil. These studies are part of the "CBA Hydrological Studies Program." This innovative initiative in Brazil and worldwide is carried out in collaboration with the Forest Hydrology Laboratory (LHF) at UFV. The program is spearheaded by lecturer Herly Carlos Teixeira Dias, the head researcher and coordinator of LHF, and includes other hydrological studies, all relevant to the environment and the mining sector.   Regarding the study on water infiltration and repellency, the initial findings already indicate improved hydrological processes in the rehabilitated areas compared to undisturbed land.  Compared with undisturbed areas, reclaimed bauxite mines had 112% higher water infiltration rates, which means more water is available for plant development and groundwater recharge.   Infiltration is the process by which water enters the surface layer of the soil, moving through the pores in the ground. Understanding the dynamics of infiltration is important for soil and water conservation, allowing us to compare data before and after mining and thereby improve sustainable practices for the environmental reclamation process.   Reclaimed land had an average water repellency of 1%, compared to 6% in undisturbed land. This demonstrates that reclaimed land performs exceptionally well in absorbing surface runoff.   Soil and water conservation According to lecturer Herly, in addition to confirming the better performance of hydrological processes in the areas rehabilitated by CBA, the study also provides insights for the enhancement of soil use and management practices, providing the necessary information to improve the design of rainwater management structures in mining and environmental rehabilitation processes in the mined areas.   "During the rainy season, when these processes occur, sustainable solutions are needed adapted to the mining process, which is:  specific, developed in a short period on rural properties; superficial, without forming excavations; and progressive, allowing the return of vegetation cover, enabling the full resumption of rural property activities," he explains.   Christian Fonseca de Andrade, the manager of CBA’s mines in Zona da Mata Mineira, emphasizes that the Company is constantly concerned with technological development focused on the continuous improvement of its water conservation processes, which is one of the three ongoing research lines in partnership with UFV.   "This study will contribute to the understanding of water dynamics and their relationship with CBA's mining and environmental rehabilitation processes, giving a platform to the positive impacts of mining in Zona da Mata Mineira and fostering new opportunities for the continuous development of our sustainable practices," he adds.  About LHF/UFV Established in December 2009, the Forest Hydrology Laboratory (LHF) is affiliated with the UFV’s Forest Engineering Department.  Located in the forestry sector, LHF houses various forest hydrology and watershed management projects aimed at studying and understanding water in different ecosystems.  It focuses on the recovery, preservation and conservation of springs.   About CBA Founded in 1955, Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio - CBA is a vertically integrated producer, from cradle to gate. Able to generate 100% of energy consumed from renewable sources, CBA provides sustainable solutions for the packaging, transportation, automotive, civil construction and consumer goods sectors, as well as leading the recycling of industrial aluminum scrap. Following its flotation in 2021 (CBAV3), it became the first Company in its segment to be traded on B3. With net revenue of R$ 8.4 billion in 2021 and R$ 1.5 billion of Adjusted EBITDA in the period, CBA is committed to guaranteeing a supply of low-carbon aluminum in partnership with stakeholders, developing communities in its geographies and conserving biodiversity. Would you like to know more? Visit  Press Office – Ideia Comunicação Empresarial Ângelo Franco – [email protected] | (31) 9.8435-9237 Josiane Souza - [email protected] | (31) 9.8417-3130

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