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BHP, Vale to settle 155B reais civil claim negotiations by June 30

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BHP, Vale to settle 155B reais civil claim negotiations by June 30

BHP Billiton Group, Vale SA and their joint venture Samarco Mineração SA have agreed with Brazilian federal prosecutors to conclude negotiations by June 30 over the 155 billion reais Brazilian civil claim settlement for the November 2015 tailings dam spill at the Samarco iron ore project.

The parties have entered a preliminary agreement, which includes a 2.2 billion reais interim security payment within 90 days to support the payments for the previously decided social and environmental remediation programs.

BHP, Vale and Samarco will also pay within 90 days 200 million reais of the framework agreement obligations to remediation programs for the municipalities of Barra Longa, Rio Doce, Santa Cruz do Escalvado and Ponte Nova.

The interim security, while it is in place, will replace the 1.2 billion reais injunction in the 20 billion reais civil claim. Meanwhile, the application for the 7.7 billion reais injunction in the 155 billion reais civil claim and the 20 billion reais asset freezing order will be suspended.

In case a final settlement is not agreed upon by June, the federal prosecutors can request reinstatement of the 1.2 billion reais injunction, according to a Jan. 19 release by BHP Billiton.

BHP noted that restart of operations at the Samarco mine will be decided via separate negotiations with relevant parties.

As of Jan. 18, US$1 was equivalent to 3.22 Brazilian reais.