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Brazil’s Vale agrees to compensate families of victims of deadly mine spill

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 17, 2019
Brazilian mining company Vale and the public prosecutor’s office reached an agreement to compensate the families of workers who died in January in the collapse of an iron ore mine tailings dam that killed at least 248 employees and left 22 missing.
Vale dam
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Spouses, children and parents of the deceased workers will each receive 700,000 reais (about $186,368) and a monthly pension up to the age of 75, according to the agreement that was approved by the 5th Labor Court of Betim, a city in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state.

Of the individual compensation value, almost 30 percent corresponds to the life insurance contracted by the company.

The deal also determined that spouses and children under the age of 25 will receive private medical assistance paid by the company.

Siblings of deceased workers, meanwhile, will receive about $39,936 in moral damages.

For the surviving workers, it was established that they will have a three-year job guarantee, including those who provided services through third-party contractors.

In addition, a monthly childcare allowance of about $245 was set for each child under the age of three and a monthly grant of about $266 for those studying up to the age of 25.

The agreement provides for the total release of $425.9 million.

The collapse of one of Vale’s waste dams in the municipality of Brumadinho on Jan. 25 also left hundreds of hectares of land destroyed.

Last week, Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira of the 6th Public Treasury Court of Belo Horizonte ruled that Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer and exporter, must pay for all the damage caused by the collapse.

On July 9, Nogueira maintained the provisional freezing of $4.16 billion on Vale’s bank accounts, which had been ordered by Brazil’s justice ministry at the end of January to ensure payment of the compensation.