Mining giant BHP to face £5bn lawsuit over Brazilian dam collapse disaster
Mining giant BHP is set to face a £5bn lawsuit in London’s Court of Appeal next week, over the collapse of a Brazilian dam in 2015 which led to one of the country’s worst ever environmental disasters.
The claim, brought forward by more than 200,000 Brazilians, follows the catastrophic collapse of the Fundão tailings dam in 2015, which led to the deaths of 19 people.
The collapse of the Brazilian dam, which had been built by Samarco – a joint venture between Brazilian mining firm Vale and Anglo-Australian firm BHP – led to one of the worst environmental disasters in Brazilian history.
The failure saw a torrent of 43.7m cubic meters of mining waste spilled into the Doce river, causing the largest spread of pollutants ever recorded in history.
The claim is being brought forward by London law firm PGMBM on behalf of more than 200,000 individuals, businesses, churches, and other entities.
The decision to reopen the case comes after it was initially blocked by the English High Court in 2020, and blocked again one year later by the Court of Appeal, due to fears the huge lawsuit would be “irredeemably unmanageable.”
Shares in BHP are down 1.11 per cent.