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US court throws out major part of Samarco lawsuit against Vale

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 23 annulled most of the claims of a class action lawsuit filed there against Vale SA and executives over the November 2015 tailings dam disaster at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil.

The Brazilian mining giant said March 24 that the only part of the case that remains is limited to certain statements made by the company in its 2013 and 2014 sustainability reports and during a conference call in November 2015.

Samarco is jointly owned by Vale and BHP Billiton Group.

Earlier in the month, a Brazilian federal court in the Minas Gerais state suspended the 155 billion Brazilian reais lawsuit against Vale, BHP Billiton and their iron ore joint venture Samarco Mineração SA over the dam disaster as part of a broader ruling federal judge Mário de Paula Franco Júnior approved to reach a final agreement on damages.

As of March 24, US$1 was equivalent to 3.13 Brazilian reais.