10 July, 2020

NGOs push to expel Brazil miner Vale from U.N. pact over dam disaster

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Several international non-governmental organizations demanded that Brazilian miner Vale SA be excluded on the United Nations’ corporate responsibility pact, from a mining dam burst that killed an estimated 300 people.

A letter signed by even more than 15 NGOs stated that Vale failed to take proper safety measures at a tailings dam at its Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine in Minas Gerais state. The dam ruptured on Jan. 25, releasing a torrent of mud that buried workers and nearby communities.

The require Vale to be expelled belonging to the United Nations Global Compact, a deal encouraging companies to look at sustainable and socially responsible policies, is usually a symbolic step that signals growing international pressure within the company.

Vale declined to instantly comment, but has previously said the dam had all necessary safety certificates and was declared sound by united states wages auditor in September.

The NGOs said the dam burst while in the town of Brumadinho amounted to the “serious violation of human rights” and “grave environmental damage,” contravening the accord.

They said Vale ought to have done more to protect yourself from the disaster from similar incident in 2019 at Vale’s Samarco partnership with BHP Group killed 19 people and devastated an important river, Brazil’s largest-ever environmental catastrophe.

“The Brumadinho disaster demonstrates favoring profit over safety is Vale’s standard operating procedure,” the letter said.

Organizations that signed the letter include Greenpeace Brasil, MiningWatch Canada as well as the Global Justice Clinic most recent York University.

Sao Paulo’s stock exchange on Tuesday also removed Vale by reviewing the ISE sustainability index.