BHP will fund up to $181m for remediation, repair and compensation related to the Samarco dam disaster ahead of a bigger settlement package likely to be announced next year.
BHP Billiton, which along with Vale owns the dam that caused Brazil’s biggest environmental catastrophe in 2015, said $133m will be used for remediation and compensation and a short-term facility of $42m will be made available for ongoing repair works and to support restart planning. A further $6m will cover fees for experts to carry out the programs.
Discussions over the settlement of the $47.6bn and $6.1bn in civil claims relating to the dam failure which killed 19 people and caused widespread damage are ongoing. In November, the deadline for talks between the two mining groups, who each own 50 per cent of Samarco, and Brazilian authorities were extended to April 20, 2018.
Shares in BHP were up 1.7 per cent in Sydney as the broader S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.4 per cent.