Samarco compensation deal said to be signed Monday in Brazil

A compensation package for the Samarco tailings dam spill in Brazil is scheduled to be signed on Monday as authorities and the mine owners hammer out final details, said a person with direct knowledge of the talks.

The agreement would end weeks of negotiations and be a key step in the joint venture owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd. eventually resuming operations. Samarco committed to providing 4.4 billion reais ($1.1 billion) through 2018, newspapers Globo and Folha de S.Paulo reported.

As part of the arrangement, Samarco will cover costs of 39 social and environmental programs, rather than paying a set amount of 20 billion reais ($4.9 billion) that was originally sought, the person said, asking not to be identified because talks are private. Mining was halted after the Nov. 5 rupture killed at least 17 people and polluted waterways.

The attorney-general’s office, known as AGU, confirmed in an e-mailed statement that talks were being hold on Friday but said no date had been fixed for release of the final document. BHP said significant progress had been made and that the company is hopeful an agreement will be reached. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale declined to comment.

Read more at Bloomberg