Vale Agrees to $7 Billion Settlement for Brumadinho Dam Collapse

Brazilian miner Vale agreed Thursday to pay $7 billion in compensation to the state of Minas Gerais where the collapse of its dam two years ago killed 270 people, polluted rivers and obliterated the surrounding landscape, the Wall Street Journal reported. The settlement, the biggest in Brazilian legal history, is a watershed moment for a country long hampered by impunity and where miners and big businesses have often exerted more power than the state, especially in rural areas. Public prosecutors said that the $7 billion agreement is meant to compensate the state for the socioeconomic and environmental damage caused by the disaster. But it doesn’t affect the many pending homicide and other criminal charges in the case against the world’s largest iron-ore miner and former executives, including Vale’s previous chief executive, Fabio Schvartsman. Vale accepted the decision and said that it would book an additional expense of about $3.7 billion in its 2020 results. Read more. (Subscription required.)