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World Brazil prosecutors file appeal against BHP, Vale dam compensation deal

01:20  30 october  2020
01:20  30 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a 155 billion-real civil lawsuit on Tuesday against iron miner Samarco, and its owners, Vale SA and BHP Billiton, for a collapsed tailings dam in November that killed

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By Roberto Samora

surface chart: FILE PHOTO: The logo of Vale SA is pictured in Rio de Janeiro © Reuters/RICARDO MORAES FILE PHOTO: The logo of Vale SA is pictured in Rio de Janeiro

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian federal prosecutors on Thursday filed a lawsuit contesting a compensation package for victims from a 2015 collapsed dam jointly owned by mining giants BHP and Vale, arguing that the package is far too low.

The move comes after prosecutors earlier this month accused the two companies of colluding with a lawyer to reduce compensation for the victims and interfere with a landmark lawsuit against BHP in the UK.

At a news conference on Thursday, the federal prosecutors said the package being offered was far too low given the scale of the tragedy. It would also force the victims to waive rights in other indemnity proceedings, such as the $6.3 billion British lawsuit.

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Brazilian prosecutors have filed formal charges against mining company Vale and its former executives including environmental crimes and murder. The company will face trial alongside German auditor TÜV SÜD after the collapse of a dam in Brumadinho, Brazil killed at least 250 people.

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors in Minas Gerais state said on Tuesday they reached a final compensation deal with mining companies Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton regarding a 2015 dam burst, Brazil 's largest ever environmental disaster.

BHP, the target of the UK suit, brought by 200,000 Brazilian people and groups, has called it "pointless and wasteful."

In the 2015 incident, a mining waste dam burst at BHP and Vale's Samarco joint venture in the town of Mariana, releasing a torrent of sludge that killed 19 people. The collapse is also considered the country's worst-ever environmental disaster, contaminating a river for hundreds of miles to the ocean.

The prosecutors' appeal is the latest in a series of ongoing lawsuits against Vale and BHP over the disaster, which have caused the companies to set aside multi-billion-dollar provisions.

The Renova Foundation, which the companies set up to manage compensation, said that until last month, 10.1 billion reais ($1.80 billion) had been allocated to environmental recovery and compensation. As of Aug. 31, it said, about 2.6 billion reais had been paid in damages and emergency financial aid to approximately 321,000 people.

Vale said on Thursday it was committed to supporting the Renova Foundation's efforts, adding that programs to repair damages had already received more than 10 billion reais.

BHP did not immediately respond.

($1 = 5.6240 reais)

(Reporting by Roberto Samora; Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Pullin)

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usr: 4
This is interesting!