VANCOUVER — Mining giants BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP; LON: BLT) and Vale (NYSE: VALE) haven’t offered much detail relating to a large scale tailings dam breach at the Samarco iron ore joint venture in Brazil’s Minas Gerais State, but reports already indicate it will likely be one of the largest mining related disasters in history.
It was near dusk on Nov. 5 when residents in the nearby town of Bento Rodrigues reportedly heard a thundering boom, which was followed by a flood of mud and tailing waste that essentially leveled the community.
Pictures released from the area reveal widespread devastation and preliminary reports from Minas Gerais state authorities indicate that four people were killed and another 30 were injured. The population in the affected area is estimated to exceed 600.
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