Brazilian worst environmental crisis has a $1.1 billion price tag

The mining company co-owned by BHP Billiton and Vale S.A committed to a long-term plan for restoring the environment and communities damaged by thecompany dam's failure last November.

The agreement between Samarco and the Brazilian government includes the establishment of a Foundation focused on environmental and socio-economic projects, a $128 million fund for sanitation programs and an annual $60 million payment for the next 15 years (the first 3 years payment is included in the $1.1billion) . An initial payment of approximately $500 million will be made in 2016 and in the next to years $300 million each will be paid.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to repairing the damage caused and to contributing to a lasting improvement in the Rio Doce.”

The Samarco dam's failure on 5 November 2015 is considered as Brazil's worst environmental crisis. The mud river travelled over 650 km of Rio Doce carrying mineral tailings and reached the Atlantic ocean at Regencia beach, an area known for its corals.

"The Agreement is subject to Court approval. If approved, the Agreement will settle the civil public claim [...] which sought the establishment of a fund of up to BRL20 billion($5.1 billion)". Says BHP Billiton Press release on the subject.

LatinAmerican Post | María Andrea Marquez

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