Court approves Samarco’s judicial recovery plan

Samarco’s concentrator 3 at the Germano complex (Credit: Samarco)

The Justice of Minas Gerais (MG) has approved Samarco’s judicial recovery plan.

The agreement sealed between the company and creditors provides for a 25% discount on the company’s debts, which reach $9.7 billion.

The court also included Vale and BHP, controllers of Samarco, in disbursements related to the rupture of the Fundão dam, which occurred in Mariana in 2015, killing 19 people.

In a securities filing in June, Vale said Samarco should emerge from the recovery process with a “lean capital structure” under the terms agreed and that payments to its creditors will be made over time, in line with Samarco’s cash flow and ramp-up of operations.

“Samarco’s contribution to fund the reparation will be capped from 2024 to 2030 at $1 billion,” Vale said, adding that additional contributions from the joint venture would depend on the “excess cash flow” it generates.

The remaining reparation balance should be equally shared between Vale and BHP.

Separately, Samarco restructuring director Luiz Fabiano Saragiotto said all parties had made efforts to reach the current agreement and that “with important concessions, this could allow for a balanced and lasting plan.”

Samarco has been struggling to pay its debt after the dam disaster halted operations in 2015. The firm resumed part of its production in December 2020.

(With files from Reuters)