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Approval for Samarco restart hinges on leak stoppage

Brazil's Minas Gerais state environmental agency Semad willnot authorize the resumption of operations at 's namesakeSamarco ironore mine — the site of a damspill in November 2015 that killed 19 people — unless the tailingsleaks are stopped, Reuters reported April 6, citing environmental protectionofficials.

The ValeSA-BHP BillitonGroup joint venture was looking to operations, at a reduced rate of19 million tonnes per annum, at the start of the fourth quarter to pay for a 20billion reais damages settlement.

Samarco Mineração needs to find a solution for the leaksfrom dikes built after the dam burst, the report cited Geraldo Abreu, deputydirector of Semad, as saying. Abreu expects the group to come up with asolution to the leak problem in the six months that it takes to issue thepermit.

As of April 6, US$1was equivalent to 3.67 Brazilian reais.