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Experts held the dam for sure

Three days after the dam break in Brazilian iron ore mine Feijão rescue workers searched on Monday for any Survivors. In the red sludge, they found only the Dead. 60 bodies have been recovered up to Monday noon (local time), more than 300 people were still missing.

The dam of a tailings basin, the Mine in the mining region of Minas Gerais was broken on Friday at noon. Then, a mud avalanche on the plant, as well as the nearby town of Brumadinho, poured. Many employees of the mine operator Vale were surprised by the deadly shaft at lunch in the canteen. The Brazilian authorities now speak of the "biggest industrial accident in the history of the country."

the first Time

Vale that is dominated by state and private shareholders, is the world market leader in iron ore production. In the mining complex in Brumadinho, the group built up to now, about seven percent of its ore. The plant has been temporarily shut down. The Brazilian judiciary committed to Vale, converted against 2.9 billion Swiss francs for any payment freeze. Among the unanswered questions, as many of the pollutants contained in the sewage sludge. By the end of 2015 toxic waste after a dam burst in the Mine of Mariana had been involved in the Vale also, one of the most species-rich rivers in Brazil contaminated in a sustainable way.

infographic: mining disaster in Brazil image to enlarge

Environmental protection groups have for years on the negligent handling of the ore Mines. However, iron ore in addition to soy, the main export goods of the country. The arch-conservative President Jair Bolsonaro had won the election in October, with the promise to lead the country on the quickest way out of its severe economic crisis. A expansion of raw material exports, especially to China, is essential. Bolsonaro wants to loosen environmental standards, rather than exacerbate. The head of the national Institute for the protection of the environment, Julio Grillo, told BBC Brasil that he had beaten in December at a meeting of the mining Committee of Alarm due to the security risk of the mines in Minas Gerais, there are more than 300 unsafe dams. The meeting ended according to Grillo, with the accelerated Licensing for the expansion of production, including the Feijão complex in Brumadinho.


Just the dam in Brumadinho is of TÜV Süd do Brasil, a subsidiary of the German audit company TÜV Süd, has been tested. TÜV Süd is one of several German TÜV companies, the industry, products and infrastructure projects. The annual turnover of 2.4 billion Euro at TÜV Süd, 42 per cent come from abroad. There are 1000 locations in around 50 countries, from Africa, to China and the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The TÜV Süd had the Vale plant on 26. September 2018 examined. It has been found according to a spokesman, "to the best of our current knowledge, no defects". According to information from the German TÜV for two decades. Currently, nearly 500 employees in three offices and a laboratory of TÜV Süd do Brasil in São Paulo employed. The company offers its Service also in other South American countries. Duties include the quality control of food products, beverages, health and beauty products, the inspection and certification of infrastructure, geotechnical engineering, environmental projects, and even disused industrial areas. And the control of mines in the mining industry.

The consequences of dam breach will also meet a large insurer. The German Allianz group maintains a reinsurance consortium, the Vale against liability risks. The amount of the policy, there is no reliable information. In addition, Vale has a system of insurance against damage to facilities and interruptions in Operation. However, the insurers have passed after the above-mentioned damage of 2015 that Vale agrees to keep high. The payment of the companies is limited to the equivalent of 113 million Swiss francs. This could lead to a Damaged, possibly also the Vale itself, compensation claim from TÜV Süd.

Controversial tax deals and group responsibility

The Brazilian mining group Vale has, since 2006, with a subsidiary in Switzerland, represented, in St-Prex. The Vaud authorities offered Vale International ideal tax environment: not municipal and cantonal taxes, as well as a partial exemption from Federal tax. The reduction of Federal tax of 80 per cent was, however, bound to certain conditions.

soon, However, the Swiss Federal tax administration intervened. The Brazilian Vale-daughter have not met the requirements. For the years 2007 to 2009, Bern called for a reduction of the tax exemption to 60 instead of the original 80 per cent. Vale moved the case before the court, however, had to concede that a success would fail. In December 2012, the parties to the dispute have agreed that Vale to paid up to 2015, approximately 212 million Swiss francs of Federal taxes.

Vale International is in the last few years because of its tax practice in the criticism. The commodity giant to move through internal transfer prices, billions in profits from high-tax countries to the tax-friendly Switzerland. The leaders of the Vale rejected the allegations. This method of tax optimization is perfectly legal. In St-Prex, around 90 employees are expected to work.

The disaster in Brazil could give the corporate responsibility initiative boost. You should arrive in the next year to vote and to ensure that Swiss companies comply with worldwide human rights and environmental standards. "With the corporate responsibility initiative, as a global sales office acting subsidiary of Vale would be required by law, in their supply chain actively to risks for human rights and the environment to seek risks and to take counter-measures. This would increase the pressure in the group," says Oliver Classen, spokesman for the non-governmental organisation Public Eye. (rf/jb) (editor-in-Tamedia)

Created: 28.01.2019, 22:57 PM

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