US’s Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Vale SA, a publicly traded Brazilian mining company and one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, with making false and misleading claims about the safety of its dams prior to the January 2019 collapse of its Brumadinho dam. The collapse killed 270 people, caused immeasurable environmental and social harm, and led to a loss of more than USD 4 billion in Vale’s market capitalization. According to the SEC’s complaint, beginning in 2016, Vale manipulated multiple dam safety audits; obtained numerous fraudulent stability certificates; and regularly misled local governments, communities, and investors about the safety of the Brumadinho dam through its environmental, social, and governance disclosures. The SEC’s complaint also alleges that, for years, Vale knew that the Brumadinho dam, which was built to contain potentially toxic byproducts from mining operations, did not meet internationally-recognized standards for dam safety. However, Vale’s public Sustainability Reports and other public filings fraudulently assured investors that the company adhered to the “strictest international practices” in evaluating dam safety and that 100 percent of its dams were certified to be in stable condition.The SEC’s complaint, filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, charges Vale with violating antifraud and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.