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July 11, 2019

Brazilian court convicts Vale for damage caused by dam collapse

The Minas Gerais State Court in Brazil has convicted Vale and declared that the company is responsible for reparation of damages caused by the rupture of a tailings dam that claimed the lives of more than 240 people.

The Minas Gerais State Court in Brazil has convicted Vale and declared that the company is responsible for reparation of damages caused by the rupture of a tailings dam that claimed the lives of more than 240 people.

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira said that Vale should fix all the damages caused by the breach of the Brumadinho dam in Córrego do Feijão in January, although he did not set a monetary value for compensation, reported Reuters.

Vale said in a statement: “The decision acknowledged Vale’s cooperation, including financial ones, with all initiatives requested by authorities during conciliation hearings held with the bodies of the Judicial system, such as Public Defense Office of the State of Minas Gerais and of the Union and the Public Prosecutors Office.”

According to the company, R11bn ($2.89bn) in assets already frozen by courts will remain blocked.

The court, however, authorised the replacement of R$5bn ($1.31bn) for bank guarantees, insurance guarantees and/or investments at the disposal of the court, in addition to the previously approved replacement of R$500m ($131.4m).

Vale reaffirmed its total commitment to fair and quick repairs of damages caused to the families, community infrastructure and environment.

At a hearing held in a Brazilian court this April, Vale clarified that emergency payments offered to those affected by the dam collapse will not be deducted from a larger pool of funds set aside for indemnity payments.

Following the loss triggered by the Brumadinho dam collapse, the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais recently passed a law banning the construction of upstream dams.

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