(Bloomberg) — A final settlement between Brazilian authorities and the Samarco iron-ore venture can be reached this year, bringing legal certainty to owners Vale SA and BHP Group six years after a devastating tailings dam collapse.
That’s according to federal prosecutor Carlos Bruno Ferreira da Silva, who said in an interview that the final reparation value is yet to be defined and will be based on independent technical studies.
Silva, who is leading talks on behalf of prosecutors, pointed to a document signed by the parties that estimates talks to last about four months from June 22, the last four weeks of which would be focused on a final draft. Authorities and company officials have been meeting weekly.
A settlement would replace a giant lawsuit, removing a considerable legal overhang for Samarco and its shareholders after the 2015 collapse spewed millions of tons of sludge into communities and waterways, killing 19 people. That public-civil suit is suspended during the talks.
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