Brazil judge dismisses $5.7 billion civil suit against Samarco: Vale (Reuters U.S. – June 13, 2016)

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA said on Monday that a 20 billion reais ($5.7 billion) civil lawsuit seeking environmental and property damages for last year’s deadly Samarco mine disaster has been dismissed.

The mine is operated by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture between Vale and the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton Ltd. Vale said the judge did not rule on the merits of the case.

A tailings dam burst at the mine in November and unleashed 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste that devastated a village, killed at least 13 people and polluted a major river valley.

The National Humanitarian Society (Sohumana) filed the lawsuit before a federal judge in Rio de Janeiro in December.

Brazil’s federal and state governments also threatened to sue Samarco and its owners for 20 billion reais in compensation for the disaster and a settlement was reached in March to cover the damages.

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