Business

Samarco reaches £800m deal over deadly Brazil mudslide

mudslide Image copyright Getty Images

The owners of a Brazilian mine that suffered a dam burst, setting off a deadly mudslide, have 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.

The accident triggered a mudslide that killed 19 people.

The mudslide also wiped out entire districts and polluted a major river in south-east Brazil.

"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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