Miners are ordered to pay $9.7 billion for the dam accident in Brazil

Due to a fatal dam breach in 2015, a federal judge in Brazil has ordered mining behemoths BHP, Vale, and their joint venture Samarco Iron Ore to pay 47.6 billion reais ($9.67 billion) in damages. Nineteen persons were murdered in a massive mudslide that was caused by the collapse of the Fundão dam in the southeast of the nation. Additionally, it seriously contaminated the Rio Doce River, jeopardizing the route leading to the Atlantic Ocean outlet. The exact amount that each business must pay was not immediately apparent.

According to Judge Vinicius Cobucci, the corporations were accountable for “moral damages,” or non-material losses like the psychological pain endured by individuals impacted by the occurrence. He said that the funds would be placed into a state fund and utilized for projects and initiatives in the area affected by the dam collapse. The funds have been adjusted for inflation since 2015. State and federal public prosecutors filed a civil action, which prompted the decision. The business added that as of December of last year, 34.7 billion reais had been distributed by the Renova Foundation, which the companies have been utilizing to pay compensation.

The verdict permits the companies to file an appeal. Samarco is a 50/50 joint venture between Vale of Brazil and BHP, an Australian mining firm. One of the worst environmental disasters in the nation is thought to have occurred in the state of Minas Gerais, which also caused the displacement of 700 people. Bento Rodrigues settlement was completely destroyed by a torrent of thick, poisonous crimson mud that was released when the dam burst. Additionally, it contaminated hundreds of millions of people’s drinking water and devastated wildlife in the 650 km distant Rio Doce River and Atlantic Ocean. According to a 2016 assessment, the dam’s collapse was caused by design errors.

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