In the month following a mining dam breach in Brumadinho, Brazil, stakeholders in international mining company Vale are demanding action for the communities impacted by Brazil's largest mining disaster.
On January 25, the dam at Vale's Feijao Mine ruptured, spilling mining waste into surrounding communities. Hundreds are dead or missing, families lost homes, and communities lost schools. The waste has contaminated a local river, impeding the ability of residents to fish or travel by river and impacting numerous species. Although Vale has taken the expected, necessary steps to respond, the extensive damages require that the company go beyond the minimum necessary response and repair the physical damage to the community and the environment while providing for the emotional and personal needs of the residents. Local and global stakeholders believe the company has a moral obligation to do more to atone for the damages that will impact people and planet for years to come and to take concrete action to prevent future breaches.
Mercy Investment Services holds a minimal number of shares in Vale solely for the purpose of shareholder advocacy and engagement, which allows Mercy to have a voice with Vale, particularly in situations such as these. In the days following the breach, Mercy has joined with other investors around the world to press the company to:
- Develop a new independent mine safety system and standards to address mining waste dams
- Meet with investors to discuss concerns of the local communities
- Institute remediation for people and planet
- Protect human rights defenders
As the situation in Brazil continues to evolve, Mercy Investment Services will closely monitor Vale’s response and continue to push the company to take action that is in the best interests of residents, the community and the environment.