For more detailed information about this class action, and on how to participate, please visit https://www.bhpclassaction.com.

On 31 May 2018, Phi Finney McDonald filed Impiombato v BHP Billiton Limited (Impiombato Proceeding) in the Federal Court of Australia. On 19 July 2019, the Federal Court of Australia made orders for the consolidation of the Impiombato Proceeding with another proceeding. The consolidated proceeding will be known as Vince Impiombato and Klemweb Nominees Pty Ltd as trustee for Klemweb Superannuation Fund v BHP Group Ltd (Consolidated Proceeding). Phi Finney McDonald and the lawyers for Klemweb Nominees Pty Ltd will work together on behalf of all group members, but group members who have signed retainers with Phi Finney McDonald will continue to be represented by Phi Finney McDonald. As part of the consolidation, the claim period for the Consolidated Proceeding will be extended so that it will include from at least 8 August 2012 through 9 November 2015 for all investors who acquired an interest in:

  • BHP Billiton Limited securities traded on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX); and/or
  • BHP Billiton Plc securities traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and/or the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The class action seeks recovery of investor losses incurred up to 30 November 2015, caused by BHP Billiton Limited’s (BHP) violations of the Corporations Act in relation to the catastrophic collapse of the Fundão dam in Brazil. G&E KTMC Funding LLC will continue to fund the Consolidated Proceeding. Under the Court’s orders anyone who bought shares of BHP during the claim period will receive at least 85% of the value of any settlement or judgment in their favour. You do not need to take any action at this time in order to participate in the class action. However, if you wish to be kept informed and receive ongoing legal advice, you may register at https://www.bhpclassaction.com.

Background

On 5 November 2015, the Fundão tailings dam at the Germano mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil collapsed, releasing approximately 60 million cubic meters of waste water in the largest tailings dam rupture ever recorded. The mudflow killed 19 people and has had a catastrophic and enduring impact on the surrounding communities and the environment. It is the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history. The disaster has also had a significant financial impact on BHP. The Germano mine is operated by Samarco Mineração SA (Samarco), a joint venture of BHP and Vale SA. Samarco’s mining operations have been shut down since the disaster and, over two years later the mine has not reopened. BHP is an Anglo-Australian owned multinational and the world’s largest diversified mining and mineral resources company. BHP has a dual-listed company structure, with two parent companies (BHP Ltd and BHP Billiton Plc) operating as a single economic entity with a unified board and management team. BHP Ltd is registered in Australia and listed on the ASX. BHP Billiton Plc is registered in the United Kingdom and listed on the LSE, with a secondary listing on the JSE. In the period that followed the dam collapse, BHP’s stock price plunged across all markets, falling 22% in Sydney and 23% in London and Johannesburg between 5 November 2015 and 30 November 2015. The class action seeks to recover shareholder losses incurred throughout this period, during which BHP’s combined market capitalisation fell by more than $25 billion.

Class Action

The class action alleges that:

  1. during the claim period, BHP breached its obligations of continuous disclosure of material information to the ASX, by failing to disclose its knowledge of the imminent risk of the collapse of the Fundão dam and knowledge that if the dam failed catastrophic human, environmental, and financial consequences would likely result
  2. during the claim period, BHP engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in its representations to the market that it put safety first and held itself to the highest standards of environmental safety in its projects across the globe, despite its failure to ensure that basic safety precautions were in place;
  3. BHP’s conduct caused its share price to trade at a price substantially higher than the trading price that would have prevailed in a properly informed market (inflated price);
  4. persons who acquired BHP shares during the claim period have suffered a loss by acquiring shares at an inflated price.

A class action against BHP in the United States on behalf of investors that acquired New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listed American Depository Shares settled on 9 August 2018. The US proceeding does not (and cannot) recover losses suffered in respect of shares traded on the ASX, LSE or JSE. Investors that participated in the US proceeding, who also acquired BHP shares on the ASX, LSE or JSE are not prevented from participating in this class action.