BHP and Vale face new US$43 billion Samarco lawsuit

Brazilian Federal prosecutors have begun civil proceedings against BHP and Vale joint venture operation Samarco , seeking compensation for social, environmental, and economic damages.

They are seeking 155 billion Brazilian Reals (approximately $58 billion), basing the damages off the cost of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.

This suit is separate from the agreement reached two months ago with the Brazilian Government for a minimum of US$1.7 billion over the coming six years as compensation for the tailings dam collapse which killed 19 people last year.

Last year the mine tailing dam burst, flooding the region and sending contaminated water spilling into local rivers and destroying nearby villages, with the tailings eventually flowing out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Only months after the initial spill 150 workers had to be evacuated from the site after heavy rains caused a landslide at the site.

Despite coming to an agreement with the Federal Attorney General of Brazil, the States of Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais and certain other public authorities for the restoration of the environment and communities affected by the Samarco dam failure, the miner has been hit with a new lawsuit.

The new lawsuit also includes the two states impacted by the spill, and the Federal Government itself, according to the ABC.

Both Vale and BHP state they have not received formal notice of the claim.







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