An official report into the Samarco Tailings Dam failure in Brazil has now been released. This is a full and comprehensive investigation that needs detailed explanation, undertaken by a highly credible panel. Samarco is jointly owned by BHP Billiton (jointly listed in London and Australia) and Brazilian mining multinational Vale.
The dam apparently failed due to poor drainage and design, and several Samarco employees still facing criminal charges.
Stephen Bartholomeusz commented in The Australian that “the most disconcerting aspect of the findings of the investigation into the Samarco tailings dam disaster is that, almost from the time it was constructed, the dam was a calamity in waiting.”
A restart of the mine is still a year away.