BHP, Vale settle Samarco suit

BHP and Vale have reached agreement with the Brazilian authorities to settle a 20 billion real (US$5.3 billion) civil lawsuit over the November 2015 Samarco dam failure.
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The rebuilt town of Barra Longa by the River Doce

In March 2016, the parties entered into a framework agreement to settle the civil claim, with BHP and Vale agreeing to establish a clean-up and remediation fund, the Renova Foundation.

BHP said this morning that an arrangement had been agreed to settle the claim, while enhancing community participation in decisions relating to remediation and compensation.

The settlement also establishes a process to renegotiate the programs over two years and to progress the settlement of a larger 155 billion real civil claim.

"The agreement is important because it demonstrates a convergence of interests between the parties, Vale, BHP Brasil, Samarco, the Federal Prosecution offices, the federal and state Attorneys' offices and the federal and state Public Defenders' offices, representing a further improvement for the affected people, as it consolidates and broadens the scope of the actions that were already being implemented by the Renova Foundation," Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said.

The failure of the Fundao tailings dam at the Samarco iron ore operation saw 32.6 cubic metres of tailings spill into the Bento Rodrigues district, 8km from the mine, and into the River Doce.

The accident killed 19 people and left hundreds homeless.