BHP Billiton faces new suit over 2015 dam disaster

SYDNEY–BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU) said a class action has been filed in an Australian court over the 2015 dam failure at a Brazilian iron-ore mining operation that sparked a sharp fall in the miner’s stock.

BHP, the world’s biggest mining company by market value, on Monday said the class action has been filed in the Federal Court of Australia in Victoria state and that it "intends to defend the claim."

BHP’s Australian stock plummeted more than 20% in November, 2015, after a tailings dam wall collapsed at an operation it jointly owns with Vale SA VALE, +0.39% It is believed to be Brazil’s worst-ever environmental disaster and one of the worst in the history of mining, with 19 people killed as waste from the collapsed dam destroyed villages and polluted more than 400 miles of waterways.

The company is already facing a class action complaint from shareholders in the U.S., which was filed in 2016 and is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at [email protected]

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