Vale, BHP and Samarco seek new deal on Mariana disaster

The collapse of the Fundao tailings dam in 2015 killed 19 people and polluted hundreds of miles of rivers. (Image: Agência Brasil Fotografias).

Samarco and its shareholders, Vale (NYSE: VALE) and BHP (ASX: BHP), have presented a new reparation proposal to the Brazilian government and the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo for the breach of the Fundão dam in Mariana in 2015.

The Brazilian Attorney General’s Office confirmed the information to CBN Radio. However, the values ​​were not disclosed due to a confidentiality clause.

The collapse of the dam in Mariana left 19 dead when approximately 40 million cubic meters of mining waste destroyed communities and contaminated the Doce River. It was the biggest environmental disaster ever in Brazil.

Negotiations for reparation resumed this week after the Brazilian government and the states rejected the value of R$40 billion ($7.75 billion) offered by the companies in December. The government and the states are demanding approximately R$120 billion ($23.3 billion).

To this day, none of the 12 lawsuits regarding the disaster have been ruled on.

According to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF), the reparation actions carried out in recent years by the Renova Foundation, an entity created for this purpose, have been insufficient. The foundation has already invested R$28.1 billion ($5.45 billion) in reparation and compensation initiatives, according to Vale.

Vale and BHP have not commented on the new agreement. Samarco informed CBN Radio that it remains open to dialogue, seeking solutions based on technical criteria that meet the demands of society. The company added that it remains committed to fully repairing the damages caused.