London judges backtrack to revive $9.43-billion Brazil dam lawsuit against mining giant BHP

Original article by
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 28-Jul-21

BHP faces renewed legal action over the collapse of the Samarco iron ore tailings dam in Brazil in 2015, after London’s Court of Appeal ruled that a $9.4bn lawsuit can proceed. A lower court had struck it out the lawsuit by 200,000 claimants in 2020, ruling that the UK legal action was an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal had upheld this ruling in March. BHP has contended that the case should not proceed in the UK as the tailings dam disaster is also subject to legal action in Brazil.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, COURT OF APPEAL (GREAT BRITAIN), SAMARCO MINERACAO SA

Vale setback a boon for Australian iron ore producers

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 20-Mar-20

Vale’s iron ore distribution hub in Malaysia will be disrupted by the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. Vale expects work at the hub to be suspended until the end of March, which could reduce its iron ore shipments for the first quarter by an additional one per cent. The Brazilian miner had previously advised that its export volumes would be seven per cent lower than previously. The pandemic has affected mining operations worldwide, although it has yet to have any impact on Australia’s iron ore sector.

CORPORATES
VALE SA

Vale confirms drop in iron ore exports

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 13-Feb-20

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale now expects output of 63-68 million tonnes in the March quarter, compared with previous guidance of 68-73 million tonnes. The production downgrade has been attributed to factors such as heavy rains, while Vale says its revised forecast does not take into account any impact of the coronavirus. Vale’s problems may bolster demand for Australian iron ore; the sector’s exports volumes are forecast to reach a record $84bn in 2019-20, despite the recent disruption caused by Tropical Cyclone Damien.

CORPORATES
VALE SA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, ROY HILL HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Brazil struggles may prolong iron ore boom

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 24-Jan-20

Brazilian miner Vale will release a market update on 11 February, but several sources have suggested that its iron ore exports so far in January are significantly lower than previously. Vale had flagged lower shipments in the first quarter of 2020, although it has advised that export volumes would rise later in the year. Nevertheless, lower exports from Brazil could see the price of iron ore remain high in the near-term, which would boost the earnings of Australian producers and federal government revenue.

CORPORATES
VALE SA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

BHP seeks delay in Brazil class action case

Original article by Liz Main
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 27-Nov-19

BHP has asked the Federal Court to postpone a shareholder class action until criminal charges against past and present executives are resolved. Brazilian prosecutors charged eight BHP executives with a range of offences – including intentional homicide – in the wake of the Samarco iron ore tailings dam disaster in 2015. Shareholders subsequently launched a class action against BHP to recover the loss in value of their shares following the disaster. The outcome of the criminal charges is unlikely to be known for at least two years.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, VALE SA

Slow restart at Samarco will be small beer for Australian miners

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 29-Oct-19

Lachlan Shaw of National Australia Bank says the resumption of production at the Samarco joint venture in Brazil is unlikely to have much impact on Australia’s iron ore exporters. BHP and Vale has been granted environmental approval to resume production in late 2020. Shaw notes that based on the initial production rate that has been flagged, it would take about 10 years for production at Samarco to return to the levels prior to the tailings dam disaster in November 2015.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, VALE SA, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

BHP, Vale to resume at Samarco

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 28-Oct-19

BHP and Vale are hopeful of resuming production at their Samarco joint venture’s Germano iron ore mine in Brazil by late 2020. This follows the granting of a Corrective Operating Licence for the mine by Minas Gerais state’s environmental regulator. The mine has been closed since a tailings dam collapse in November 2015. BHP has indicated that restarting Germano is dependent on Samarco receiving funding for a new filtration plant at the mine.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, VALE SA, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA

BHP class action down to one

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 15 : 19-Dec-18

The Federal Court has ruled that Phi Finney McDonald’s class action against BHP over the Samarco tailings dam disaster in Brazil can proceed. Rival law firms Maurice Blackburn and Johnson Winter & Slattery had also proposed class actions against the resources group, but Justice Mark Moshinsky expressed a preference for Phi Finney McDonald’s funding model. He also noted that the firm’s case was more advanced in terms of preparation.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, VALE SA, G&E KTMC FUNDING, HARBOUR FUND IV, ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN AND DOWD LLP, LOS ANGELES COUNTY EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION

BHP faces new dam burst case

Original article by Ben Butler, Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 4-Oct-18

Law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery has filed a class action against BHP Billiton on behalf of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. The US pension fund alleges that the value of its stake in BHP fell sharply after the miner’s shares were heavily sold down in the wake of the Samarco iron ore tailings dam collapse in November 2015. BHP is already subject to two Australian lawsuits over the disaster. Meanwhile, prosecutors in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais are believed to be poised to announce the settlement of a civil claim against BHP and Vale.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, LOS ANGELES COUNTY EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION, JOHNSON WINTER AND SLATTERY, VALE SA, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA

Lawyers sniff a settlement out of BHP

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 10-Aug-18

BHP Billiton has agreed to settle a class action launched by US shareholders over losses arising from the Samarco iron ore tailings dam collapse in Brazil. BHP has offered to pay $US50m ($67.2m) in compensation to settle the case, although it will not admit any liability for the disaster. Brett Spiegel of Australian law firm Phi Finney McDonald says its class action is based on similar underlying issues, adding that the US settlement has vindicated his firm’s contention that BHP had misled investors and failed to comply with disclosure requirements.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD