Brazil says talks on compensations over Vale-BHP dam burst are halted

October 2017 aerial image of the area affected by the tailings dam failure in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (Photo by Vinícius Mendonça, courtesy of Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).)

Brazilian authorities said on Wednesday that talks with miners Vale, BHP and their joint venture Samarco regarding additional compensation for a burst tailings dam in 2015 were halted since the firms did not present a new proposal.

There is still no date for the negotiations to resume as the companies, which own the dam that collapsed in the state of Minas Gerais have refused to submit a new proposal within a pre-established deadline, a group of state and federal government bodies said in a statement.

The dam collapse in the southeastern city of Mariana caused a giant mudslide that killed 19 people and severely polluted the Rio Doce, compromising the waterway to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean.

The companies’ latest offer presented had “insufficient amounts for the proper reparation of the Rio Doce,” the statement said.

Samarco said it remains open to dialogue and continues to participate in negotiations of the agreement, “in order to move forward with a definitive and consensual solution, based on technical, environmental and social criteria.”

The companies, through the Renova Foundation, had allocated 33.38 billion reais ($6.81 billion) in reparations and compensations as of September.

($1 = 4.9032 reais)

(By Roberto Samora and Peter Frontini; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Kylie Madry)

Read More: Brazil authorities expect Mariana dam disaster deal to close in December


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