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Solidarity message to Brazilian mining-affected communities following dam collapse in Brumadinho

Author: Alternative Mining Indaba, Published on: 6 February 2019

"Solidary message to Brazilian mining-affected communities on the occasion of a mining disaster in Brumaindho, South East Brazil" 5 February 2019

The Secretariat, Steering Committee and stakeholders of the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) would like to offer their deepest condolences to the families of the Brazilians who lost their lives after the collapse of a tailings dam holding back mine waste of the Vale Mining Company...

...This scale of disaster should have never happened if mining companies were generally concerned about the triple bottom line, namely the environment, communities and profit...This demonstrates a lack of care and caution by mining companies and often criminal collusion by authorities who do not effectively legislate, regulate and inspect the adherence of mines to health, safety and environmental standards. Perhaps the time of voluntary self-regulation should be replaced by effective government control of mine health and safety and environmental adherence...

...We note with sadness and disbelief that the recently elected far-right leader of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, campaigned on promises of deregulating mining and other industries, among other outright neo-liberal, tone-deaf, regressive policies that will isolate, further marginalise and exacerbate the misery of the poor and lead to environmental destruction and climate change in Brazil...

...We know for a fact that this latest spill underscores a deliberate weakening of health, safety and environmental regulations in mining in Brazil and indeed in most countries in the Third World where such disasters have become common-place. We have no doubt, as confirmed by our Comrades in Brazil, that this latest spill is a sad consequence of the lessons not learned by the Brazilian government and the mining companies responsible for an earlier tragedy when a dam administered by Vale and Australian mining company BHP Billiton collapsed in 2015 in the city of Mariana in Minas Gerais state, resulting in 19 deaths and forcing hundreds from their homes...

...We demand all governments to suspend and revoke mining licenses with immediate effect of mining companies that fail to adhere to global best practice, international and national laws and regulations and protocols environmental, health and safety regulations which have resulted in avoidable loss of irreplaceable lives.

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Related companies: Vale