Iron ore at Vale's Gongo Soco mine. Three communities near the mine's inactive upstream tailings dam were evacuated Friday morning as a precautionary measure. Courtesy of Vale

Around 700 people were evacuated in Brazil on Friday by Vale and ArcelorMittal, due to concerns about the stability of two upstream dams.

Vale was ordered to evacuate about 500 people in three communities near its Gongo Soco mine in Minas Gerais. Gongo Soco is located about 100 kilometres away from Belo Horizonte.

The order from Brazil’s mining agency was a preventative measure, Vale said, after engineering company Walm refused to give the mine’s Sul Superior tailings dam a declaration of stability.

The communities of Socorro, Tabuleiro and Piteras were evacuated.

The order comes two weeks after the devastating tailings dam collapse at Vale’s Córrego de Feijão mine in Minas Gerais, which has so far killed more than 130 and left 199 missing. 

Vale said it is “intensifying” inspections of Sul Superior, and will install monitoring equipment that detects millimetric movements in the dam’s structure. The company has also scheduled a new assessment of the dam’s stability by internal consultants on Sunday.

Sul Superior is one of Vale’s 10 upstream dams, which it said last week it would put 5 billion reis ($1.775 billion) toward decommissioning over the next three years.

Related: After work stoppage at Brucutu, Vale declares force majeure on some iron ore and pellet sales contracts

ArcelorMittal also ordered the evacuation of 200 people from the town of Itatiaiuçu, near its dormant Serra Azul tailings dam. The community is nearly 40 kilometres away from Brumadinho, the site of the Córrego de Feijão collapse.

The company said it was a precautionary measure after a recent site-based assessment of its upstream tailings dam, which included stress tests on the Serra Azul pond. “A decision was taken to evacuate all residents while further testing is undertaken and any mitigation measures can be implemented,” ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

The dam, which ArcelorMittal said is the only upstream dam in its mining portfolio, has been idled since October 2012.

Upstream dams like Sul Superior and Córrego de Feijão will soon be a thing of the past in Brazil. On Thursday, Reuters reported that the country’s mining agency plans to issue an ordinance on Friday banning their use, and requiring that existing upstream dams be taken down or converted into other types of dams.

According to the mining agency, there are 88 upstream tailings dams in Brazil.