BHP served with class action over Samarco dam failure

(Reuters) – Global miner BHP said on Monday it has been served with a class action proceeding in the Federal Court of Australia regarding the 2015 Samarco dam failure in Brazil.

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

BHP said it would defend the claim lodged in Victoria state. It did not specify who had filed the class action, which relates to a 2015 dam burst that killed 19 people.

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Samarco mine, owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd, in Mariana, Brazil, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Washington Alves/File Photo

Samarco and its parent companies Vale SA and BHP signed a deal with Brazilian authorities in June to settle a 20 billion reais ($5.30 billion) lawsuit related to the failure.

The miner also 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.

Last week, BHP said it expected to record a charge of $650 million in its fiscal 2018 results on account of the failure. The charge was at the lower end of expectations according to analysts.

BHP shares fell 1 percent on Monday in a weaker overall market

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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