Brazil Court Convicts Miner Vale For Damages Caused By Deadly Dam Rupture

Brazil Court Convicts Miner
Aerial view of a fallen bridge taken after the collapse of a dam which belonged to Brazil's giant mining company Vale, near the town of Brumadinho in southeastern Brazil, on 25 January 2019. Picture: EWN

A Brazilian state judge on Tuesday convicted mining company Vale SA for damages caused by the deadly rupture of a tailings dam in January that killed at least 240 people.

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira ruled that Vale is responsible for fixing all the damages, although he did not set a monetary value for compensation, the Minas Gerais state court said on its website. It “is still not possible to quantify solely by technical-scientific criteria,” the statement said.

The value “will not be limited to the dead, but also effects on the local and regional environment, in addition to economic activity in the affected regions,” the statement quoted Nogueira as saying.

In a statement, Vale said it reaffirmed its “total commitment to fair and quick reparations for the damages caused to families, community infrastructure and the environment.”

The 11 billion reais (£2 billion) in Vale assets already frozen by courts will remain blocked, the court said.

A dam containing mining waste at a Vale facility in the town of Brumadinho collapsed on 25 January, burying workers, residents and huge swaths of the environment in red-brown sludge.