Brazilian prosecutors have charged the ex-CEO of Vale, Fabio Schvartsman, and 15 others with homicide for the dam disaster that killed more than 250 people. Additionally, the company and TUV SUD were charged with environmental crimes.
In January 2019 the dam at one of Vale’s mines collapsed and released 12 million cubic meters of mining waste onto the town of Brumadinho. The collapse was one of the deadliest mining accidents in the world and was the second fatal incident at one of Vale’s dams in just over 3 years.
After the collapse it was reported that Vale had misrepresented the steps it took to resolve safety issues after a collapse in 2015. Prosecutors alleged that the companies systematically and intentionally hid safety issue information leading up to the collapse.
Vale stated that it believes that “the accusations of fraud are perplexing” and noted that other authorities are investigating the case, making these charges premature. The incident caused the company’s market value to decrease by $19 billion in one day.