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At least 17 people reportedly have died, with more than 30 injured and dozens missing, after a tailings dam at an iron ore mine in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil burst and devastated a nearby rural village with mudslides.
Samarco Mineração, the JV between BHP and Vale (NYSE:VALE), says it has not established what had caused the dam to burst; Vale -3.2% premarket.
The incident is shaping up as the most deadly incident in BHP’s long history in mining and a “devastating stain” on the company’s international reputation.
- China has taken action to support its iron ore industry after prices continue to drop.
- China’s move means that it doesn’t want to rely on foreign supplies even if they’re cheaper.
- Iron ore suppliers outside of the big four are now at even greater risk than before.