05 December 2022
BHP Group Limited and BHP Group (UK) Limited (formerly BHP Group Plc) are defendants to a group action claim brought by claimants in the English High Court seeking damages for alleged losses in relation to the Fundão Dam collapse in 2015 (the English Proceedings). The Fundão Dam was owned and operated by Samarco, a non-operated joint venture between BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda (BHP Brasil) (a subsidiary of BHP Group Limited) and Vale S.A. (Vale). Each of BHP Brasil and Vale holds 50 per cent of Samarco.
BHP Group Limited and BHP Group (UK) Limited have today filed their defence and a contribution claim against Vale in connection with the English Proceedings. In their defence, BHP Group Limited and BHP Group (UK) Limited deny the claims in their entirety. The contribution claim contends that if the defence of BHP Group Limited and BHP Group (UK) Limited is not successful and they are ordered to pay damages to the claimants in the English Proceedings, Vale should contribute to any amount payable. The contribution claim is a necessary procedural step given that Vale was not included as a defendant to the English Proceedings. The English High Court is expected to hear the contribution claim together with the main English Proceedings.
BHP will continue to defend the English Proceedings, which it believes are unnecessary because they duplicate matters already covered by the existing and ongoing work of the Renova Foundation and legal proceedings in Brazil.
BHP Brasil remains committed to continue working with Samarco and Vale to support the local remediation efforts in Brazil through the Renova Foundation. Those efforts have already provided approximately US$2.3 billion in compensation and direct financial aid in relation to the dam failure to 388,000 people to 30 June 2022.