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“Work Still to Do” on Brazilian Tailings Dams

The UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has completed an investigation into the progress of reparations following the collapse of two Brazilian tailings dams in the last seven years. LAPFF Chair Doug McMurdo recently met with communities impacted by the 2015 Mariana and 2019 Brumadinho dam collapses. Mining companies BHP and Vale own the Mariana Fundão dam through their joint venture operator, Samarco. Vale owns the Córrego do Feijão dam that collapsed in Brumadinho. Water quality and delays in house building in Mariana are the two major concerns highlighted by local communities’ members. McMurdo, noted that it was “clear that Vale has taken steps to improve its corporate culture and its dam safety practices”. However, LAPFF found that no affected community members sit on the board established to provide reparations from the dam collapses. The foundation set up to provide reparations was also found to have an “overly complex structure” and lack “adequate independence in its governance” which has led to “poor and drawn-out execution of reparations”, according to the LAPFF.  

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