Canadian Mining Journal


Pressure grows on Samarco, one year after tailings disaster

Legal and financial pressures are mounting on Samarco, one year after a tailings dam failure sent 60 million m3 of mine waste and sludge into Brazil’s Rio Doce River system.

A federal court in Minas Gerais state has ruled that BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP; LSE: BLT) and Vale (NYSE: VALE), owners of the Samarco iron ore mining complex in Minas Gerais, have 30 days to come up with US$354 million to fund initial clean-up at the mine after a tailings dam disaster last November.

According to a report by Reuters, the partners have 90 days to prove the tailings dam burst has been fully contained. The court also gave the companies six months to present their plans to complete the cleanup.

The dam collapse killed 19 people, destroyed 200 homes and several small communities, spurred the evacuation of 600 people, and affected thousands more. The tailings travelled 600 km, polluted riverways all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Read the entire story at The Northern Miner.