Mining giant BHP Billiton is facing a US$5bn claim for damages over a dam collapse in Brazil in 2015. Law firm SPG, which is representing than 200,000 Brazilian claimants, said the company knew of the risks at the Samarco mine in Minas Gerais state.
Brazilian authorities have charged the president of mining company Samarco and six others with homicide for the mining disaster that killed 19 people last November. Police in Minas Gerais State have asked for Ricardo Vescovi, along with five other Samarco executives and one contractor to be arrested.
Police in Brazil said Thursday they have brought criminal charges against two mining companies and seven executives over a mine waste spill that buried a village and killed 17 people.Federal police accuse Brazilian iron ore giant Vale, mine operator Samarco and company officials including Samarco's chief executive, Ricardo Vescovi, of violating Brazil's environmental crimes law in connection with the disastrous November 5 collapse of a waste reservoir.
A Brazilian federal court has ordered BHP Billiton and Vale to set aside US$ 491.5 million, with the possibility of billions more, has frozen the mining giants' assets in the country, and ordered it to carry out extensive environmental and social work in the region hit by a dam burst at its joint venture.
Brazil's federal and state governments plan to sue the owners of the Samarco iron ore-miner for 20 billion Reais ($7.2 billion) in damages caused by the burst of a tailings dam, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told reporters on Friday.
Australian mining giant BHP says mud spilled by the devastating collapse of a dam at a Brazilian mine is not toxic. On Thursday the UN said the dam burst at the Samarco mine unleashed a flood equivalent to 20,000 Olympic swimming pools of toxic mud.
A BHP Billiton and Vale joint venture in Brazil is facing its first civil lawsuit over the dam collapse at its iron ore mine on November 5 that buried a town and contaminated the region's main river.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has slapped preliminary fines worth 250 million Reais ($94 million) against a BHP Billiton-Value owned mine in Minas Gerais state where two dams burst, killing at least seven people.
Investors continued to dump shares in mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. following the deadly dam burst last week at its jointly owned iron-ore mine in Brazil, even as the company sought to clarify responsibility for the disaster that has already claimed the lives of three people.
Mud and wastewater from burst dams at a Brazilian iron ore mine cut off drinking water and raised health and environmental concerns in cities more than 300 km downstream on Monday, amid increasingly dire search efforts in a village devastated by the mudslides.