Tag Archives: dam

Brazil’s lawsuit against BHP over the 2015 dam failure refuted the UK appeal | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Men remove bags from mud-flooded homes after dams belonging to Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd exploded, in Barra Longa, Brazil, November 7, 2015. REUTERS / Ricardo Moraes / File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK Court of Appeals has denied permission for the 200,000-strong Brazilian plaintiffs’ group to revive a 5.0 billion pound ($ 6.9 billion) lawsuit against British-Australian mining giant BHP over the devastating 2015 dam failure.

“We are both shocked and disappointed by this decision,” said Tom Goodhead, Managing Partner at law firm PGMBM, who represented the plaintiffs and hopes to appeal the High Court’s decision to drop the claim last November.

“This is a sad day for the British justice system, as a court rejects a case based on size and complexity. It sends a bad message about corporate responsibility and the legal consequences of mistakes, “he said.

The collapse of the Fundao dam, owned by the Samarco company between BHP and Brazilian iron ore mining giant Vale, killed 19 people and sent a flood of mining waste to communities, the Doce river and the Atlantic Ocean, 650 km (400 miles) away.

It was Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.

A British appeals court judge ruled that plaintiffs could and had already made claims in Brazil, where a special compensation scheme was in place, and agreed with the Court of Appeal that the case would be “irredeemable” if allowed to proceed in the UK, PGMBM said in a statement. .

BHP could not be reached for comment.

($ 1 = 0.7284 pounds)

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Edited by Edmund Blair

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Brazil’s lawsuit against BHP over the 2015 dam failure refuted the UK appeal | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Men remove bags from mud-flooded homes after dams belonging to Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd exploded, in Barra Longa, Brazil, November 7, 2015. REUTERS / Ricardo Moraes / File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK Court of Appeals has denied permission for the 200,000-strong Brazilian plaintiffs’ group to revive a 5.0 billion pound ($ 6.9 billion) lawsuit against British-Australian mining giant BHP over the devastating 2015 dam failure.

“We are both shocked and disappointed by this decision,” said Tom Goodhead, Managing Partner at law firm PGMBM, who represented the plaintiffs and hopes to appeal the High Court’s decision to drop the claim last November.

“This is a sad day for the British justice system, as a court rejects a case based on size and complexity. It sends a bad message about corporate responsibility and the legal consequences of mistakes, “he said.

The collapse of the Fundao dam, owned by the Samarco company between BHP and Brazilian iron ore mining giant Vale, killed 19 people and sent a flood of mining waste to communities, the Doce river and the Atlantic Ocean, 650 km (400 miles) away.

It was Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.

A British appeals court judge ruled that plaintiffs could and had already made claims in Brazil, where a special compensation scheme was in place, and agreed with the Court of Appeal that the case would be “irredeemable” if allowed to proceed in the UK, PGMBM said in a statement. .

BHP could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Edited by Edmund Blair

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Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam reaches an agreement for a power plant | Instant News


SAO PAULO, February 8 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam operator reached an agreement with environmental authorities on Monday that will allow it to maintain a steady flow of energy generating water in exchange for investments to reduce environmental and other impacts.

In January, environmental agency Ibama ordered Belo Monte operator, Norte Energia, to increase water flow into the Xingu River because of concerns about damage to the environment and local communities, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Environmentalists and indigenous peoples have criticized the construction of the Belo Monte dam – the world’s fourth largest hydropower plant – for unduly reducing water levels in the Xingu River, destroying the local environment and traditional fishing.

On Monday, Ibama and Norte Energia said in separate statements that the dam operator would invest 157.5 million reais ($ 29.4 million) over the next three years in environmental protection and assistance for local residents. Instead, the company does not need to increase the outflow to the Xingu River.

Norte Energia is 49.98% owned by state-owned company Eletrobras with other shareholders including miners Vale SA, Light SA, Neoenergia SA and CEMIG. ($ 1 = 5,3655 reais) (Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; written by Jake Spring; editing by Richard Pullin)

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Brazil’s mining regulator added inspection staff | Instant News


The agency’s director Eduardo Leão informed Reuters They will add more staff so that dam inspections can be carried out annually. It currently has 30 inspectors and, according to the report, industry critics feel oversight is lacking.

This issue has been in focus especially since the fatal failure of Vale’s Brumadinho dam in 2019.

Leão said the recruitment process had begun, and a joint team of 70 inspectors could “definitely” inspect all the dams each year.

“(Currently) we have to make a priority schedule, meaning that in three or four years we don’t visit some dams, while we visit others every six months, because they are more complex, they are more risky,” he said.

Brazil has about 430 tailings dams. Of these, 220 are in the same state as Brumadinho, Minas Gerais.

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A British judge blocked Brazil’s $ 6.6 billion suit against BHP over the dam that exploded | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – A £ 5.0 billion ($ 6.6 billion) UK lawsuit against British-Australian mining giant BHP has been sued, dealing a blow to the 200,000-strong Brazilian prosecution group demanding compensation after devastating dam damage to in 2015.

A High Court judge in Manchester ruled that managing the largest class action lawsuit in British legal history would be like “trying to build a house of cards in a wind tunnel” and the case being “litigation abuse”.

BHP welcomed the decision, which it said reinforced its view that victims should file claims in Brazil and that the case duplicates ongoing work and legal proceedings there.

Tom Goodhead, the lawyer at PGMBM representing the plaintiffs, called the ruling “fundamentally flawed” and promised to file an appeal.

“We will continue to fight non-stop, for whatever time, in any court in the world, to ensure that BHP is held accountable for their actions,” he said.

The collapse of the Fundao dam, owned by the Samarco joint venture between BHP and Brazilian iron ore mining giant Vale, killed 19 people and sent a torrent of mining waste to the community, the Doce river and the Atlantic Ocean, 650 kilometers (400 miles away. It was a disaster. worst neighborhood in Brazil.

This case is the latest battle to determine whether multinational companies can be held accountable for the behavior of overseas subsidiaries.

The ruling comes about 18 months after Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that nearly 2,000 Zambian villagers could sue the UK miner Vedanta on pollution charges in Africa because substantial justice could not be obtained in Zambia.

Leigh Day’s partner, Martyn Day, who represents Zambian villagers, said he took his hat off to the Brazilian plaintiffs’ legal team for “daring” to tackle the big case.

“I think the judge was tough on the plaintiff,” he said. The question for the appellate court is whether he is too tough or not.

Plaintiffs accused senior BHP executives sitting on the Samarco board, that BHP representatives approved plans to repeatedly increase dam capacity, ignored safety warnings, and that victims did not have the prospect of adequate compensation in Brazil within a reasonable timeframe.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, which include municipalities, indigenous peoples, businesses and churches, also argue that under Brazilian law, responsibility for environmental damage falls on the defendant’s final owner.

BHP said it and Vale each poured about $ 1.7 billion into the Renova Foundation, which was set up in 2016 by BHP Brazil’s division, Samarco and Vale to manage 42 repair projects, including providing financial assistance to indigenous families, rebuilding villages and building new water supply system.

($ 1 = 0.7591 pounds)

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley, editing by Barbara Lewis and Rosalba O’Brien

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