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Prosecutor files petition against restart of Samarco iron ore operations

Minas Gerais state environmental prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Pintofiled a petition with a court in Belo Horizonte to block the planned restart ofoperations at the Samarcoiron ore joint venture in Brazil, The SydneyMorning Herald reported April 30.

The prosecutor wants ValeSA- and BHP Billiton Group-ownedSamarco Mineração SA toprove that the leaks at the dam have been completely contained before it is allowedto restart operations.

The state prosecutor has also called for a 1 million Brazilianreais fine until the leakage is stopped.

Earlier in April, Pinto said that the mining giants will be forced to pay a fine of 1 million reaisper day for not stopping the tailings leak.

Samarco is looking to restartoperations, at a reduced rate of 19 million tonnes per annum, at thestart of the fourth quarter to help pay for a 20 billion reais damages settlement.