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Brazil's environmental watchdog levels $10m fine on Anglo American over port accident

Published by MAC on 2013-04-09
Source:, BBC News

Brazil environmental watchdog charges Anglo with a $10m fine over port accident

Cecilia Jamasmie

4 April 2013

The environmental regulator in Brazil's northern Amapa state (Imap) has fined Anglo American (LON: AAL) with a $10 million (20m Brazilian reais) fine over last week's accident that left three people dead and another three missing at the company's port terminal in the area.

According to OGlobo (in Portuguese), Imap imposed the penalty because of the "environmental alterations" caused by the pier collapse.

The incident forced Anglo to halt shipments from the Amapa iron ore operation, where it produced 6.1 million tonnes of iron ore last year, since early Friday.

Last week the miner said an "abnormally large wave of water rushing down the river" had contributed to the landslide, adding in a statement on Monday that it was still investigating the exact causes of the accident.

Paulo Castellari, president of Anglo American's Brazilian iron-ore operations, earlier this week said production at the Amapa system will "obviously" be affected by the calamity, adding the exact cause of it remains unknown.

The London-based miner has struggled to increase its presence in Brazil's iron ore industry and finally agreed to sell its 70% stake in the mine three months ago to Zamin Ferrous.

The company acquired control of Amapa from Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's MMX in 2008, as part of the $5.5 billion Minas Rio purchase. But Amapa was deemed non-core and put on the block last year.

Six missing after Brazil accident

BBC News

30 March 2013

A mining company in Brazil says an inquiry has begun into the cause of the collapse and sinking of a floating port on the Amazon river, in Amapa state.

Rescue operations are under way to locate six workers who went missing.

An official blamed a big wave that allegedly washed over the banks of the Amazon, dragging with it cranes, lorries and people.

But witnesses said the surge was caused by the collapse of the floating quay, and not the other way around.

The authorities are investigating the accident in the port town of Santana, on the facilities of Anglo Ferrous, the Brazilian subsidiary mining giant Anglo American.
Map of Amapa, Brazil

Divers and rescue workers had earlier scanned the muddy waters of the Amazon river in search of survivors.

The accident happened around midnight local time on Thursday (03:00 GMT on Friday), witnesses say.

"There was a wave that washed over the banks of Santana, even reaching the island of Santana. This wave also hit the company's port," Paulo Oliveira, a spokesman for Anglo Ferrous told the local channel TV Amapa.

Other witnesses, however, told reporters that the quick and powerful water surge was a consequence of the landslide and the sinking of the floating port facilities, which were used for loading ships with iron ore.

In a statement, Anglo American said the causes of the collapse were being investigated.

"An iron ore vessel was docked at the pier for loading at the time and was hit by flood waters. Flood waters also dragged vehicles and shipping equipment into the river," the company said.

Authorities avoided pointing fingers before the experts complete their tasks.

"Right now, it would be inappropriate to try and find a culprit, but after a detailed survey, we will get to understand the causes and be able to attribute responsabilities," the state governor of Amapa, Camilo Capiberibe, said.

The wave also sank boats moored nearby.

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