The worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history has triggered one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court.
On November 5, 2015, the Fundão waste dam – operated by Brazilian mining company Samarco – situated in the mineral rich state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, began to show signs of leaking.
Despite desperate attempts from workers to plug the openings, the dam collapsed, killing 19 people and unleashing approximately 60 million cubic metres of toxic waste into the surrounding landscape, villages, rivers and eventually the Atlantic Ocean.
After the Fundão dam collapse in 2015, officials vowed ‘never again’. However, just 3 years later in January 2019, a mining disaster struck once again, this time causing even greater loss to human life. Nearly 300 people died when a tailings dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, and once again toxic sludge was released into the environment. It destroyed infrastructure, submerged vehicles, contaminated water supplies and continues to harm ecological systems and individuals alike. PGMBM are looking to hold to account those who, despite the clear warnings about its potential for destruction, certified the dam’s stability.