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Brazil's mining giant agrees to pay $7b for dam disaster

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-02-05 15:26
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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's southeast state of Minas Gerais and mining giant Vale on Thursday signed an agreement that commits the company to paying nearly $7 billion in recompense for a dam disaster in 2019 that killed hundreds and polluted a vast region.

The government of Minas Gerais described the deal as the largest reparations ever in Latin America.

The company's tailings dam collapsed on Jan 25, 2019 in the town of Brumadinho, burying houses under toxic mud and causing at least 272 deaths.

"Vale is determined to fully repair and compensate for the damages caused by the Brumadinho tragedy and contribute, increasingly, to the improvement and development of the communities in which we operate," Vale's CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said.

The "unprecedented" agreement will pay for public works that will generate 360,000 jobs "over the coming months and years," Governor of Minas Gerais Romeu Zema said.

According to the agreement, 30 percent of the funds will go to Brumadinho and its population through a cash transfer program for residents of the affected area.

About $870 million will be earmarked for the recovery of the Paraopeba River basin, and $1.2 billion for recompensing for socio-environmental damages.

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