Brazil Dam Disaster May Delay Samarco Settlement for BHP, Vale

Brazil's deadly tailings dam collapse is likely to complicate a settlement for a similar disaster less than four years ago at the Samarco iron ore mine, owned jointly by Vale SA and BHP Group, investors said on Tuesday. Vale and BHP have been aiming to restart the mine as early as 2020 following a dam failure in 2015 that killed 19 people and buried a village, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. A second deadly dam burst at a Vale mine on Friday killed 65 people and there are fears the death toll could soar into the hundreds. The Brazilian prosecutor running talks to settle a lawsuit over the Samarco collapse told Reuters on Saturday the second dam burst could scramble those sensitive negotiations. Federal prosecutor Jose Adercio Sampaio said that depending on Vale's culpability in the new disaster, it may change how his task force handles a 155 billion reais ($41 billion) case against Samarco. The case is currently suspended amid negotiations for a potential settlement. A restart at Samarco Mineracao SA depends on talks with prosecutors on building a new tailing dam system and a restructuring of the company's debt, executives at BHP and Vale have said. Read more

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