Brazilian Mining Firm Pays $55.9 Million for Misleading Disclosures Before Fatal Dam Collapse

Brazilian Mining, Securities and Exchange Commission
Brazilian Mining, Securities and Exchange Commission information

March 28, 2023 Location: Washington, D.C.

Brazilian Mining fine case

Vale S.A., a publicly traded Brazilian mining corporation and one of the companies responsible for the Brumadinho dam collapse in January 2019 that killed 270 people, was today granted relief from disclosure requirements by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the world’s largest iron ore producers agreed to pay $55.9 million to settle charges brought last April.

Even while Vale publicly told investors that all of its dams were certified as stable, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in its complaint that the dam did not fulfil internationally accepted safety requirements for years.

Assistant Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s Division of Enforcement Mark Cave said, “Our case against Vale shows how the company’s sustainability reports and its responsibilities under federal securities laws work together.

If the court approves the terms of the settlement announced today, Vale will pay a hefty financial penalty, showing that public businesses can and should be held accountable for major misrepresentations in their ESG-related disclosures.

Vale would be permanently restrained and enjoined from violating the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 if the settlement is approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The settlement calls for a $25 million civil penalty, as well as disgorgement and pre-judgment interest totalling $30.9 million.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawyers are Dean Conway and Michelle Zamarin, who work under the direction of Melissa Armstrong and Sharan Custer.

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