Urge Action on the Environmental Disaster from Samarco Mine Tragedy in Brazil

  • by: Georgina B.
  • recipient: CEO of BHP Andrew Mackenzie and CEO of Vale Murilo Ferreira

The biggest environmental disaster in Brazil's history is alleged to have taken place due to a dam wall failing that was holding mining waste, according to a report on ABC.net.au

The Samarco mine, which was operated in a joint venture by Australia's BHP Biliton and Brazil's Vale, has caused catastrophic damage. A torrent of toxic mud from the spill in south-west Brazil has buried a village and contaminated a river basin.

The waste has travelled at least 500 kilometres through river systems to the Atlantic Ocean, killing at least 12 people and leaving 280,000 without water. The waste has killed countless animals, fish and birds and will now kill countless marine life.

The pollution will take many years to clean-up and the effects will be long-lasting. Brazil's environment minister was noted in the report as saying it is the worst environmental disaster in the country's history and estimated it would take 30 years to clean up.

Brazil and indeed no other country can be put at risk again from a disaster of this magnitude.

Will you join me in urging BHP Billiton and Vale to ensure they review mining safety procedures, especially the management of waste from mining activities, as well as research into clean-up technologies to help minimise the effects of any future disasters?

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