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BHP receives court approval for 20B reais Samarco deal, settles US lawsuit

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BHP receives court approval for 20B reais Samarco deal, settles US lawsuit

A federal court in Brazil's Minas Gerais state formally approved an agreement between BHP Billiton Group, Vale SA, their joint venture Samarco Mineração SA and other parties for the settlement of a 20 billion-reais civil claim related to the Samarco dam failure, BHP said Aug. 9.

The parties entered the settlement on the lawsuit in late June. The final agreement signed with Brazilian authorities would extinguish the claim as well as establish a framework to settle a second claim of 155 billion reais in the next two years.

Separately, BHP reached a settlement over a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. in connection with the incident. The mining major agreed to pay the plaintiffs US$50 million, with no admission of liability.

The claim was filed in New York on behalf of the noteholders who purchased American depositary receipts between Sept. 25, 2014, and Nov. 30, 2015. The settlement remains subject to the district court's approval.

Samarco Mineração is expecting to secure all licenses required to resume operations at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil in 2019.

As of Aug. 8, US$1 was equivalent to 3.74 Brazilian reais.