Belfast Telegraph

BHP Billiton approves further £145m for Brazil mining disaster remediation

Mining giant BHP Billiton has approved a further 181 million US dollars (£145 million) to bankroll compensation and remediation programmes linked to the Samarco dam catastrophe in Brazil.

Last year, BHP's Samarco iron-ore mine, which it jointly owns with Brazilian rival Vale, saw a dam collapse, killing 19 people and displacing 700.

The cash will be offset against the group's already announced 1.2 billion US dollar (£966 million) provision.

BHP also said it would make available a short-term facility of up to 115 million US dollars (£92.5 million) to carry out remediation and stabilisation work and to support Samarco's operations.

Provisions linked to the disaster have contributed to heavy losses at the firm.

"The short-term facility allows BHP Billiton Brazil to preserve the value of its investment as options for restart continue to be assessed," the firm said.

It added that restarting Samarco operations will occur only if it is "safe and economic" to do so.

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