BHP, Vale & Brazil Miner Samarco: In JVs, Liability is Never Clean

By Gerard Baynham | Thursday, November 19, 2015

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Samarco Mineracao S.A., the iron-ore mining joint venture of BHP Billiton Ltd. (the world’s largest miner) and Vale S.A. (Brazil's largest miner), suffered a catastrophic "tailings dam" rupture which, according to The Wall Street Journal, spilled roughly 60 million cubic meters of water and iron ore waste across rural areas of Minas Gerais state. Tragically, at least 17 people are known to have been killed. Obviously, the liability of the involved parties will be determined by Brazil’s legal courts. The company and its parents will also undoubtedly be tried in the court of public opinion.

Read More