BHP, Vale get extension to settle $48 billion Samarco claim

The dam burst also left hundreds homeless as sludge washed downstream into neighbouring state Espírito Santo through remote mountain valleys reaching the Atlantic ocean 600 kilometres away. (Screenshot from PigMine 7, via YouTube)

BHP Billiton Ltd and Vale SA have secured a 150-day extension from a Brazilian court to negotiate a settlement of a $48 billion claim stemming from the Samarco mine disaster in 2015, BHP said on Tuesday.

The settlement date, which had been set for Nov. 16, has been extended to April 20, 2018.

Nineteen people died and nearby towns were inundated with flood waters after a dam designed to hold back mine waste burst on Nov. 5, 2015, causing Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster.

BHP and Vale also entered into an amendment agreement that brings the Brazilian prosecutors into the preliminary agreement regarding the settlement of the mine disaster claims, BHP said.

The amendment agreement is subject to approval by the Brazilian court, BHP added.

BHP shares rose 0.2 percent in early trade, in line with the benchmark index.

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