BHP to pay $US211m for Samarco restoration

BHP will commit $US211 million ($287 million) in financial support to the Renova Foundation, a non-profit body set up for the purposes of restoration and remediation of the 2015 Samarco mine dam collapse.

A total of $US158 million will be allotted to funding the remediation and compensation programs that have been agreed between Samarco, Vale and BHP Brasil, and the federal government of Brazil, the states of Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo and other public authorities.

BHP will also set aside a short-term facility of up to $US53 million in BHP Brasil’s share to Samarco to bear the costs of ongoing repair works, maintenance of Samarco’s facilities and support of restart planning at the site, payable as required.

In November 2015, a tailings dam breach from Samarco’s iron ore mine in Mariana, Brazil, caused 19 deaths, destruction of local communities and widespread environmental damage.

The Renova Foundation will undergo management restructuring, in light of recent agreements to give local communities a bigger say in its operations — six of Renova’s seven board members are from BHP, Vale and Samarco.

The revised management will see three of four additional members appointed from the communities affected by the disaster, with another from the public defence office.

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