BHP now faces an Australian class action over the fatal Samarco mine disaster

Aerial view after the dam burst in the village of Bento Rodrigues, in Mariana, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images
  • BHP has been served with a class action in the Federal Court in Victoria related to the fatal Samarco iron ore mine disaster in Brazil.
  • The action alleges BHP failed to inform of the market of the imminent risk of the failure of the dam.
  • BHP’s share price fell 22% in Sydney and 23% in London and Johannesburg following the disaster.

BHP says it has been served with an Australian class action over the fatal Samarco iron ore mine disaster in Brazil.

The action is being led by law firm Phi Finney McDonald on behalf of investors in BHP.

The class action alleges BHP violated its continuous disclosure obligations by failing to inform of the market of the imminent risk of the failure of the dam and the likely catastrophic consequences.

The law firm says BHP’s share price fell 22% in Sydney and 23% in London and Johannesburg between November 5 and November 30, 2015, shedding about $25 billion in market capitalisation.

“BHP confirms it has been served with a class action proceeding filed in the Federal Court of Australia in Victoria,” the world’s biggest miner said in a statement.

“BHP intends to defend the claim.”

A dam holding mining waste ruptured on November 5, 2015, sending a wall of mud downstream, leaving 19 dead and hundreds homeless in what has been described as Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.

In 2016, BHP posted a $US2.2 billion ($AU2.8 billion) loss for the impact of the Samarco dam failure. Analysts calculated the impact from the mud slide would strip about 4% from BHP’s profits.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.