MARIANA DAM DISASTER
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.
BRUMADINHO DAM DISASTER
After the Mariana dam disaster 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.
MACEIÓ SALT MINE DAMAGE
In 2018, cracks, sinkholes and earthquakes linked to rock-salt mining activities caused huge damage to streets, houses and buildings in several neighbourhoods in Maceió, the capital of Alagoas state in Northeast Brazil.
A report by the Brazilian geological service released in May of 2019 blamed nearby salt mining by Braskem for damage to the structural integrity of property in Maceio.
Thousands of victims are still waiting to be compensated for damage and they are now taking their legal battle to foreign courts to achieve appropriate redress for the impact that Braskem’s operations have had on their lives. Those who have received financial aid argue that it is not enough.
BARCARENA AND ABAETETUBA TOXIC WASTE POLLUTION
Riverside communities in Barcarena have been enduring the negative effects of pollution caused by aluminium mining for many years. Now, the affected population are forcing accountability on the European multinationals that are profiting from the pollution.
Around 11,000 families from the Brazilian state of Pará are seeking compensation for damage caused to the communities of Barcarena and Abaetetuba.
Victims have been exposed to toxic residues from the processing of aluminium, which can cause health problems such as increased incidences of cancer, Alzheimer’s, skin diseases, stomach problems, and diarrhoea.