BHP Billiton and Vale have been given an extension for Samarco settlement talks

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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19 people were killed in the disaster (Source: Getty)

FTSE-listed miner BHP Billiton and Brazil’s Vale have been granted an extension to resolve huge legal claims surrounding the Samarco dam collapse in 2015.

The companies now have until 16 November to settle civil claims of around 155bn Brazilian real (£36bn) and 20bn real relating to the fatal dam failure at BHP and Vale’s 50-50 joint venture, Samarco.

The two firms entered a framework agreement in 2016 that established a fund for clean-up costs and compensations, but that was suspended after federal prosecutors brought the 155bn real claim against them.

Read more: BHP Billiton approves $250m payout over Samarco disaster

The extension announced yesterday will allow negotiation of the settlement to continue. Legal proceedings and injunctions will remain suspended.

Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Europe, said the appointment of expert advisers under the agreement should “significantly” reduce the amount to be paid.

“We would be surprised if this amount was even ~10 per cent of [the $54.1bn headline level].”

Read more: BHP Billiton rejects criminal charges over Samarco Mineracao disaster

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