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29 Nov 2015

Australian Associated Press and The Guardian (UK)

Brazil: Government will sue BHP and Vale for $US5.2bn over dam disaster that caused deaths & social and environmental destruction

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“Brazil to sue mining companies BHP and Vale for $5bn over dam disaster-The collapse of a wastewater dam at an iron-ore mine left more than 13 dead and has triggered an environmental crisis in the River Doce basin”, 28 November 2015 

Brazil’s government has announced it will sue...BHP Billiton and Vale for $US5.2bn after the deadly collapse of a dam at an iron ore mine sent 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste cascading into the Atlantic ocean and left more than 13 people dead. Environment minister Izabella Teixeira said a lawsuit would be filed demanding that the companies and the mine operator Samarco, which they co-own, create a fund of 20 billion reais to pay for environmental recovery and compensation for victims...“...It is a disaster prompted by economic activity, but of a magnitude equivalent to those disasters created by forces of nature.”...11...[people]...remain missing...[There are]...claims of major contamination, although the mining companies insist there is no serious pollution...BHP...has seen its shares fall sharply...Teixeira described the environmental impact as devastating and difficult to repair. Earlier on Friday Vale announced a compensation fund...Executives also sounded a defiant note, rejecting allegations that the Doce had been badly polluted. Vania Somaville, director of human resources, health and safety at Vale, told a press conference that lead, arsenic, nickel and chrome had been detected at some points along the river...[but]...that the potentially dangerous contaminants were not carried there by the wastewater from the mine. That was in stark contrast to a report by two UN experts, which accused the corporations and the Brazilian government of failing to respond to a toxic disaster...

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Brazil: Government to sue BHP and Vale over dam disaster that caused deaths & environmental destruction

BHP & Vale lawsuit (re dam collapse in Brazil, filed in Brazil)