BHP pays out $211 million towards Samarco dam accident rehabilitation

(Reuters) – Global miner BHP said on Friday it had agreed to fund a total of $211 million in financial support for the Renova Foundation, created to help victims of the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil.

FILE PHOTO: BHP Billiton Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie is silhouetted against a screen projecting the company’s logo at a round table meeting with journalists in Tokyo, Japan June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Most of the allocated sum, $158 million, would be used to fund remediation and compensation programs identified under an agreement with Brazilian authorities, BHP said in a statement.

The amount would be offset against the group’s provision for the Samarco dam failure, it added. The rest would be allocated to carrying out ongoing repair works, maintain Samarco’s facilities and supporting restart planning.

The announcement from BHP comes after Samarco and parent companies Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd signed a deal with Brazilian authorities that settles a 20 billion reais ($5.2 billion) lawsuit related to the 2015 dam burst that killed 19 people.

Brazilian miner Vale also said on Thursday it would pay 557.7 million reais in the second half of the year to restore the environment and communities damaged by the disaster at Samarco.

Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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