Mining company Samarco and its owners, BHP Billiton and Vale SA, reached a deal with the Brazilian government on Wednesday to pay an estimated 24 billion reais ($6.2 billion) in damages for a deadly dam spill in November.
Of the total, Samarco will pay 4.4 billion reais through 2018 into a fund to cover the cleanup of the spill from the tailings dam. From 2019 to 2021, payments will be between 800 million reais and 1.6 billion reais.
Further investment will be made for a period of 15 years as the company agreed to a lengthy environmental plan to regenerate the impacted area through replanting and dredging.
Considered Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, the spill killed 19 people, left hundreds homeless and polluted a major river.
Vale, in a separate statement outlining the agreement, said that in the event Samarco is unable to pay its obligations, Vale and BHP would be responsible for covering the costs.
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