Opinion: Brazil’s Brumadinho is Vale’s Worst Nightmare

The former poster child for privatization now faces receivership or even bankruptcy, as neither government officials nor investors in the market will forgive it for those 300 lost lives.

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brumadinho is a municipality south of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, where some 12 million cubic meters of iron ore tailings were impounded — until late last month when the “Feijão” dam broke, with catastrophic consequences — estimates are that some 300 lives have been lost.

Vale S.A., once known as Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) but now universally called simply “Vale”, is a mining behemoth, the world’s largest producer of iron ore. Much of its production of iron ore is in Minas Gerais, where it has dozens . . .

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