Investors Push for Greater Safety in Brazil's Mining Sector

After selling Vale shares, British pension fund leads intervention in sector

Nicola Pamplona
Rio de Janeiro

After divesting its holdings in Vale, the Church of England, which manages the British church's workers and clergy pension fund, called for other investors to push for more transparency and security investments in the mining sector.

Since the Brumadinho (MG) dam broke in January, leaving 249 dead and 21 missing, institutional investors in the sector have been squeezed.

The Church of England-led investors created the Mining & Tailings Investor Safety Initiative. The group brings together investors who manage about US$ 1.3 trillion and has asked more than 700 miners for details of their operations to assess safety.

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Mud invades an house in the city of Horta, in Brumadinho (Foto: Eduardo Anizelli/ Folhapress) - Folhapress

The board's director of ethics and engagement, Adam Matthews, said it was a process of "systemic intervention" by investors in the sector, which did not happen after the Samarco disaster. That disaster in 2015 that left 19 dead and a trail of destruction.

In recent weeks, both Brazilian mining companies and global producers have launched safety enhancement and community relations programs.

In November, the International Council for Mining and Metals (ICCM) will launch a new code of conduct, with stricter standards for dam operation. For analysts, investor pressure was critical in this effort.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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