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Samarco and Vale Sign New Agreement with the Federal Ministry of Justice

06/26/2018 - 11h30

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CAROLINA LINHARES
BELO HORIZONTE

On Monday (the 25th) the Federal Ministry of Justice (MPF) and several other governmental entities signed a new joint agreement with Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton allowing for those displaced and affected by the rupture of the Fundão Dam in November 2015 to participate in decisions regarding the recovery programs being implemented by the Renova Foundation.

The TAC (Behavioral Adjustment Term) agreement, as it is referred to, establishes that those affected serve directly as part of the bodies that today are working as consultants and auditors on projects and activities undertaken by Renova Foundation, in addition to being an integral part of the foundation's own councils and boards.

REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The debris of the municipal school of Bento Rodrigues district, which was covered with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst, is pictured in Mariana, Brazil, November 10, 2015
FILE PHOTO: The debris of the municipal school of Bento Rodrigues district, which was covered with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst, is pictured in Mariana, Brazil, November 10, 2015

The agreement stipulates that programs undertaken by the foundation be under continual review. In practice, this new agreement is a revision of the 2016 agreement signed by the mining companies and the Federal Government, the States of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, without the participation of the MPF.

The original agreement, which created the Renova Foundation and its 42 reparation programs suspended a R$ 20 billion (US$ 5.3 billion) civil lawsuit that had been filed by the Federal Government against the mining companies but hadn't yet been homologated by the Judiciary.

Prosecutors have been negotiating for two years for an agreement with a broader scope. Now, the new agreement will be submitted for homologation at the 12th Federal Court of the Federal Judiciary in Minas Gerais.

The TAC agreement suspends, but doesn't nullify, a separate R$ 155 billion (US$ 41 billion) civil lawsuit filed by the MPF against the mining companies. The idea is that by the end of two more years a third and final definitive agreement will have been reached.

The rupture of Samarco's dam killed 19 people and spread mining tailings (waste and residue) over a 650 km (406 mile) expanse of rivers. 22 people are defendants in the legal proceedings (21 are charged with malicious homicide) as well as four corporations.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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