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Brazilian prosecutors file 155B reais lawsuit over Samarco iron ore mine spill

Brazilian prosecutors filed a 155 billion Brazilian reais civillawsuit against Vale SA,BHP Billiton Group andtheir joint venture Samarco MineraçãoSA over the dam burstin November 2015 at the Samarcoiron ore mine that claimed 19 lives, Bloomberg News reported May 3.

The lawsuit demands an initial payment of 7.8 billion reais tobe made within 30 days, challenging the previously signed agreement between theBrazilian government and the companies.

In March, Samarco Mineração, BHP Billiton and Vale to pay at least 20 billionreais over 15 years to rehabilitate the damage caused by the spill.

BHP Billiton said May 4 that it has yet to receive a formal noticeof the claim.

"We believe that the agreement (once approved by the court)provides the long-term remedial and compensation framework for responding to theimpact of the Samarco tragedy and the appropriate platform for the parties to worktogether," the mining giant added.

As of May 3, US$1 was equivalentto 3.57 Brazilian reais.