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”.