Samarco reaches £800m deal over deadly Brazil mudslide

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The owners of a Brazilian mine that breached a dam, setting off a deadly mudslide, has agreed to pay 4.4bn reais (£804m) in damages.

Samarco – co-owned by Vale and BHP Billiton – will pay 2bn reais in 2016 and 1.2bn each in 2017 and 2018.

The Brazilian government originally demanded 20bn reais to address what is considered the country’s worst environmental disaster.

In November, two Samarco dams ruptured setting off a deadly mudslide.

The mudslide destroyed the town of Mariana in southern Brazil and killed 19 people.

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

Under the terms of the agreement Brazilian Vale and Australian BHP Billiton will be jointly responsible for the payments if Samarco cannot make them.

The money is being divided into two categories – environmental restoration and compensation for communities.

In February, a police investigation determined Samarco executive had been negligent. Six of the mine’s executives including its president were charged with homicide.

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