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Samarco: Brazil's environmental bureau speaks

Yesterday Marilene Ramos, president of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) held a press conference which included:

The River Doce will take ten years to recover from the Samarco tailings dams failures. Impressive for a spill that Vale and BHP assured was non-toxic when it occurred.

The November 5th disaster is one of five tailings dam failures in the Minas Gerais region over the last ten years. There is obviously an engineering problem in the area and with so many other tailings facilities there, "it's feasible" that more failures will happen.

Ibama, which has already imposed several fines on Samarco, says it will add substantially more fines to its list next week. This is aside from the U$5.24Bn lawsuit now underway against the company.

Ibama underscored the position of Vale, which says it is not responsible for the failure. Yes of course, Vale. Of course.

So tell me, IKN reader who also reads the general mining press, did you hear about this press conference held by Brazil's most important environmental control body? Nah, didn't think so, BHP and Vale has the English language media in lockdown.