June 21, 2018

Mining company Samarco to pay compensation for dam bursts in Brazil

Brazil Mining Company

As compensation for the collapse of two dams it used to hold waste water from iron ore, Brazil mining company Samarco has agreed to pay at least 1bn reais (£170m; $260m)

The authorities acknowledge that the amount agreed will not be enough to cover the damage to the environment and to the local population.

“This is only a first instalment,” state prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Ferreira Pinto told O Estado de Minas newspaper.
The breaches caused rivers of mud to descend on nearby villages in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais.
Eleven people were killed and 12 are missing, presumed dead.
Samarco is owned by mining giants Vale, from Brazil, and Anglo-Australian company BHP Billiton.

Vale and BHP Billiton “made all possible effort to prioritise the needs of the people who were in the accident area” on 5 November when the dams burst, it said in a statement.
Samarco says the “preliminary commitment” it signed will guarantee payment for “preventive emergency, mitigation, repair or compensation measures”.

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