Iron and Steel

Brazil seeks $20.7 billion from Vale, BHP over 2015 dam collapse

Brazil seeks $20.7 billion from Vale, BHP over 2015 dam collapse
Brazil’s government presented on Thursday a counteroffer requesting that miners Vale and BHP and their joint venture Samarco pay 109 billion reais ($20.74 billion) as reparations for a tailings dam collapse in 2015.

The proposal is higher than a previous offer from the miners to pay the federal and local governments 72 billion reais to settle reparations for the disaster in the town of Mariana, Minas Gerais state.

The dam collapse killed 19 people and left hundreds homeless, while also polluting the Doce River, a major waterway that flows through neighboring Espirito Santo state.

The government offer, endorsed by Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo, does not include any amount already spent by the miners in reparation measures, as well as the cost of executing obligations such as removing tailings from the river.

It also sets a 12-year period for the payments to be made, according to a statement from Brazil’s solicitor general’s office.

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