The Nov. 5 damburst in Minas Gerais, Brazil's main mining state, unleashed 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste that demolished a nearby village, killed at least 13 people and polluted a major river valley, killing fish and reaching the Atlantic Ocean.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Brasilia required Samarco to take immediate action to contain and reduce the environmental impact of the damburst, the chief prosecutor of the coastal state of Espírito Santo, Rodrigo Vieira, said.
The lawsuit seeks at least 20 billion reais that would be administered by a private fund over 10 years to pay for the recovery from the environmental disaster and its social impact on communities near the mine and along the Rio Doce river basin.
Samarco would be required to set up the fund to be managed independently by non-governmental groups, such as a committee of inhabitants of the river basin and Instituto Terra, a local environmental nonprofit started by world renowned photographer Sebastian Salgado.
"If Samarco does not have the financial resources to cover payments over 10 years, Vale and BHP will be held responsible for providing their shares," Vieira told Reuters by telephone.
The Daily IKN email digest, get all daily posts sent to you next day (& no ads)
Here's Reuters on the R$20Bn (U$5.24Bn) lawsuit filed by Brazil against Samarco (50% Vale, 50% BHP) yesterday. It's one of those when a bunch of numbers do little to enlighten, but we need to start somewhere. Here's an extract from the Reuters piece:
Full report here. Meanwhile, the world's mining trade papers continue to ignore the biggest story in its sector. Nothing to do with the fact that BHP has them all in its pocket, of course.
I wonder what Andy Robertson thinks of all this?