The mudflow created by the dam rupture ultimately travelled 600 kilometres to the ocean, creating a toxic brown plume visible from space. 700 people lost their homes, 8,500 fishermen lost their livelihoods, and 400,000 people lost access to fresh water. It is the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.
The Germano mine is operated by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture of BHP and Vale SA. BHP is an Anglo-Australian owned multinational and the world's largest diversified mining and mineral resources company.
In the period that followed the dam collapse, BHP’s stock price plunged across all markets, falling 22% in Sydney and 23% in London and Johannesburg between 5 November 2015 and 30 November 2015. The class action will seek to recover losses to shareholders throughout this period, during which BHP’s combined market capitalisation fell by more than $25 billion.