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Prosecutors launch environmental crime probe against Samarco CEO

Brazilian prosecutors have kicked off a probe into allegedenvironmental crimes by SamarcoMineração SA CEO Roberto Carvalho over the November 2015 , Reuters reported July13, citing a statement of the prosecutors.

This is the latest setback for Samarco Mineração's plan toreopen the Samarco iron ore mine after a Brazilian court a 20 billionBrazilian reais public civil claim over the disaster that claimed 19 lives.

The prosecutors claimed that the - joint venturefailed to fully implement emergency precautionary measures ordered by thecountry's environmental watchdog Ibama, in the wake of the tailings spill.

"The omissive acts of the chief executive could becategorized as environmental crimes," the prosecutors said.

The containment structures built by Samarco after the spillare insufficient to contain the 24.8 million cubic meters that remain over thedisaster area and have not been flushed away by rains or floods, according tothe prosecutors, who estimated that 2.8 million cubic meters of muddy tailingswill be swept into rivers downstream by as early as March 2017.

The prosecutors added that Samarco only partiallyimplemented four of the 11 measures that Ibama ordered, ignoring the rest.

As of July 13, US$1was equivalent to 3.29 Brazilian reais.