mud from a collapsed iron mine dam in Brazil has travelled 500
kilometers down the Rio Doce and reached the Atlantic Ocean,
threatening endangered leatherback turtles and the river’s other
biggest environmental disaster ever occurred on November 5 when a
Samarco iron mine dam collapsed, releasing sixty million cubic meters
of toxic waste.
to estimates from biologists, it will take some 30 years to clean up
the Rio Doce basin after mercury, arsenic, chromium and manganese at
levels exceeding human consumption limits were discovered in the red
company also widened the river mouth to speed up the flow of the mud
where the toxins are expected to stretch to a wider area and become
diluted. Samarco agreed to pay one billion reais (US$262m)
to cover the clean-up costs and compensation.
mine owner was also fined 250 million reais by Brazil's environmental
regulator, with President Dilma Rousseff saying that more penalties
may follow from other government bodies.