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BHP Billiton to settle $47 billion Brazilian civil claim

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Staff Writer | January 19, 2017
BHP Billiton and its Brazilian iron-ore joint venture with Vale, Samarco Mineracao, have set a June 30 deadline with federal prosecutors in Brazil to settle a $47.5 billion claim related a dam failure in November 2015 which killed 19 people.
BHP Billiton
Disaster   A dam failure in November 2015
BHP Billiton, Vale and Samarco will initially pay 2.2bn reais ($675m) to support compensation and social and environmental remediation of the dam failure.

This comprises a charge over Samarco's assets of 800m reais ($245m), insurance bonds of 1.3bn reais ($400m), and liquid assets of 100m reais ($30m).

If the final settlement is not agreed by 30 June, then the prosecutors may request an injunction of 1.2bn reais ($370m) injunction.

The deal with the federal prosecutors also requires the companies to advance reais 200m ($60m) of the funding to programs for the municipalities of Barra Longa, Rio Doce, Santa Cruz do Escalvado and Ponte Nova.

Activities at the Samarco mine were suspended in 2015 after the collapse of two dams holding mining waste, which 19 people died and left hundreds homeless.