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BHP Billiton, Vale face class action from noteholders over Samarco spill

BHP Billiton Group and Vale SA are facing a class action lawsuit in New York as a result of the November 2015 Samarco tailings dam burst, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Jan. 24.

Brazil's Banco Safra SA filed a claim on behalf of the holders of A$2.2 billion of notes used to fund the iron ore joint venture.

The claim, which names Samarco Mineração SA as well as its chief executive Ricardo Vescovi as a defendant, alleged that the joint venture company "made false and/or misleading statements" and " failed to disclose material adverse facts" about the project.

In November 2016, Banco Safra's Cayman Islands branch, Banco Safra (Cayman Islands) Ltd., sued Samarco for misleading investors.

The lawsuit filed in New York was looking to secure class action status, Reuters reported in November 2016.

Last week, BHP, Vale and Samarco agreed with Brazilian federal prosecutors to conclude negotiations by June 30 over the 155 billion Brazilian reais civil claim settlement for the disaster.

As of Jan. 23, US$1 was equivalent to 3.16 Brazilian reais.