Vale and Brazil state do not reach agreement over Brumadinho

The Brumadinho tailings disaster in Brazil killed 270 people. (Image courtesy of Vinícius Mendonça | Ibama.)

Vale has not reached an agreement on a settlement for damages regarding the deadly Brumadinho dam disaster and negotiations are currently on hold, an official with the government of Minas Gerais said on Thursday.

The state government and Vale had been in meetings to discuss an agreement, but those negotiations ended unsuccessfully on Thursday, Mateus Simões, a state official, told Reuters.

In November, the head of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais rejected the miner’s proposed settlement of around 21 billion reais ($3.97bn).

Minas Gerais is requesting 54.6 billion ($10.3bn) in compensation, a figure that includes relocation and the psychological damage suffered by survivors and the victims’ families.

Brumadinho dam collapsed in January 2019, leaving 270 people dead. The disaster cost former chief executive Fabio Schvartsman his job and he now faces homicide charges. It also triggered a global inquiry into the status of 726 tailing dams.

Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, is still facing legal action over the deadly accident, including allegations that the miner was aware of the dam’s unstable condition years before the accident happened.

Mariana

In December, Samarco – controlled by Vale and BHP – restarted operations at its Germano complex in Minas Gerais and its Ubu complex in Espírito Santo, Brazil, 5 years after the failure of the Fundão dam in November 2015.

The dam, owned by Samarco, burst, releasing 39.2 million cubic meters of tailings waste in the Rio Doce Basin, killing 19 people. It was considered Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.

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