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News > Brazil

Brazil: Vale Pays $7 Billion Fine Over Brumadinho Dam Collapse

  • Vale Agrees to $7 Billion Settlement for Brumadinho Dam Collapse

    Vale Agrees to $7 Billion Settlement for Brumadinho Dam Collapse | Photo: Twitter/@AndyVermaut

Published 4 February 2021

Vale will pay about $7 billion for the Brumadinho tragedy, following a settlement.

Brazilian mining company Vale will pay the equivalent of about $7 billion for "social and environmental" damages caused by the rupture, in January 2019, of a mining waste dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, which left 270 dead.

The agreement between the parties contemplates the value "in socio-economic and socio-environmental reparation projects." According to the government of Minas Gerais, the "largest reparation agreement signed so far in Latin America."

The clauses stipulate, among other points, that Vale, one of the largest iron ore producers in the world, must disburse these amounts in direct aid to those affected, "integral socio-environmental reparation" projects and "socio-economic reparation" projects.

The reparation's total value is "only an estimate," which "may be increased if necessary," the Minas Gerais government points out.

The agreement states that the pact reached represents "an acknowledgment of the company's responsibility" and that its signing does not imply closing "individual legal actions seeking indemnification" or of a criminal nature.

"Official note on the negotiations for reparation measures from the mining company for the Vale dam rupture in Brumadinho."

The tragedy occurred on January 25, 2019, when the dam at the Corrego de Feijao mine, owned by Vale, burst, causing millions of tons of tailings to spill in a matter of seconds in the municipality of Brumadinho, resulting in 270 deaths, including about 11 people missing.

That of Brumadinho was the second major tragedy caused by the rupture of a mining dam in less than four years in Brazil, after that of Mariana (also in Minas Gerais) in November 2015, which left 19 dead and caused the largest environmental disaster in the country's history.

That dam was owned by Samarco, a joint venture of Vale and Anglo-Australian BHP.

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