VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – A Brazilian federal judge of the Federal Court of Minas Gerais has, for an indefinite time, suspended a public civil lawsuit against Samarco Mineração over the miner’s tailings dam collapse in November 2015, the company said on Tuesday.
Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, said in a press release that the judge's decision on Monday did not change the terms of a court decision that extended the deadline for Samarco parent companies Vale and BHP Billiton to negotiate a settlement to October 30.
On June 30, the court granted the mining majors an extra four months to negotiate a settlement of civil claims relating to the Samarco dam failure, the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history.
BHP and Vale must negotiate a settlement of the $47.5-billion and $6.1-billion public civil claims relating to the dam failure, which left 19 people dead.
The parties had initially aimed to reach a settlement by June this year, in accordance with a January 2017 preliminary agreement, which outlined the process and timeline for the negotiation of the claims.
The preliminary agreement also stated that the joint venture partners would have to put in place $675-million worth of security to support payments for the programmes under the framework agreement.