Business

Despite recent disasters, Brazilian miners push for self-regulation

Brazil has faced multiple mining disasters in recent years due to inadequate and often criminal safety standards. Yet industry players want regulators to be more hands-off

mining self-regulation
Fire brigade looking for bodies after the 2019 Brumadinho disaster. Photo: Eduardo Anizelli/ Folhapress

On November 5, 2015, the Fundão tailings dam in the southeastern city of Mariana collapsed, killing 19 people and burying entire villages under toxic sludge. The iron ore waste traveled 663 kilometers to the Atlantic Ocean, polluting the Rio Doce on the way, which runs through 230 municipalities that depend on it for subsistence. It was the biggest environmental tragedy in Brazil’s history.

According to environmentalists, the effects of the tailings swept out to sea will be felt for at least 100 years. The mining site was operated by Samarco — a joint venture between Brazilian giant Vale...

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