By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – One of the largest mining companies in the world, Brazil’s Vale, has been accused of human rights violations and causing negative environmental impacts for profit by the NGO International Articulation of Those Affected by Vale in its “Vale Report 2015”. The multinational company, with projects in the Americas, Africa and Asia denied allegations of irregularities in its environmental licenses and slave labor practices.

Vale's Carajás iron mine in the northern state of Pará in 2009, photo by NASA satellite/Creative Commons License.
Vale’s Carajás iron mine in the northern state of Pará in 2009, photo by NASA satellite/Creative Commons License.

“The company rejects all and any activity which involves inadequate work conditions and reiterates its commitment with the compliance of the norms and existing workers’ health and safety laws,” read the statement released on Thursday afternoon, after the release of the NGO’s report.

The report discloses more than thirty conflicts involving Vale’s production chain in at least eight countries where the mega-mining company operates. The report was released a day before Vale is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders’ meeting.

According to the company, all environmental licenses for its projects are rigorously in line with environmental legislation of the specific country. Vale also denied accusations made the NGO that its loading and unloading shipping operations in Brazil, Peru and Malaysia are hindering the livelihood of fisherman who use the same waterways.

In 2012, Vale was ‘awarded’ the Public Eye Award by the Greenpeace Switzerland and Berne Declaration for being the company having the ‘most contempt for the environment and human rights” in the world. The award is given to companies that ‘promote’ human rights violations, labor violations, and environmental destruction in the course of their activities.

According to the two NGOs Vale was promoting devastating consequences in the Amazon rainforest and its people with the construction of the Belo Monte Dam.


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