Australia: BHP faces investor pressure to accelerate reparation of 2015 mine waste dam collapse in Brazil
"BHP investors dial up scrutiny of fatal dam disaster remediation", 17 October 2022
Australian mining giant BHP is facing pressure from investors to accelerate the clean-up and reparation works in the areas of Brazil left devastated by the deadly collapse of a mine waste dam in 2015.
During two weeks of talks with communities still dealing with the fallout from the disaster, the chairman of a coalition of 86 British pension funds managing $630 billion heard from residents and other stakeholders who said that BHP’s efforts to rebuild housing and improve water quality in the affected areas were taking too long.
A BHP spokesperson on Sunday said it was fully committed to supporting the Renova Foundation’s extensive ongoing remediation, reconstruction and compensation efforts
“To date, more than $US5 billion has been disbursed through Renova in environmental remediation, housing and community infrastructure reconstruction, and approximately $US2.2 billion in compensation to 402,800 people affected by the dam failure,” the spokesperson said.
However, the BHP report noted that mandated COVID-19 workforce restrictions and suspensions of on-site works had affected the timeline for completion. “Ongoing efforts to accelerate completions continued throughout the 2022 financial year,” it said.
As of June 30, 48 houses have been completed while 158 are under construction at Bento Rodrigues and Paracatu de Baixo. According to the Renova Foundation, there are presently no restrictions on the use of water from the Doce River, which can be consumed after being treated.