Samarco is 50:50 Brazilian joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton. The company runs a fully integrated iron ore mining, concentration, transport and pelletising operation. Pellets are shipped to the seaborne export market from the company's port facility at Ponta Ubu in Espirito Santo state. On 5 November 2015, two of Samarco's tailings dams ruptured causing extensive flooding and mudslides which culminated in the death of 19 people. The affected dams were Fundao and Santarem, located at Samarco's Germamo complex in the district of Mariana, Minas Gerais state. All operations at the Germano unit were suspended and, at the time of writing, the real causes of the breach were yet to be publicly disclosed. We expect Samarco to resume operations in 2019.