Vale says prosecutors’ multi-billion Samarco claim is without grounds

Monday, 05 October 2020 00:38:33 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

Brazilian miner and iron ore producer Vale labeled a prosecutors’ BRL 155 billion ($27.8 billion) lawsuit reinstated this week as “ungrounded.” Vale said the prosecutors’ claims have “no merit,” since all companies involved have met their obligations and have no pending debts.

In a statement, Vale said the prosecutors’ lawsuit “doesn’t affect the continuity of (repair) works by the Renova Foundation nor alters the commitments the (involved) companies assumed.”

As previously reported by SteelOrbis, Brazilian prosecutors reinstated a BRL 155 billion ($27.8 billion) lawsuit against pellet producer Samarco, a 50/50 joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton.

The prosecutors, which include Minas Gerais state and federal prosecutors, as well as Minas Gerais state and Brazil’s Federal Public Defender’s Office (DPU), said Samarco should fully pay for the socio-environmental and socio-economic damages it caused.

A court had suspended the multi-billion lawsuit in August 2018, following a settlement, which involved Espirito santo and Minas Gerais states, prosecutors, Vale, BHP Billiton and Samarco.

The re-instated lawsuit aims to “prevent Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton to avoid meetings its responsibilities as a result of the (Mariana) … disaster,” the prosecutors said last week.

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