Mining company to pay $1.11 bn in next three years for Doce river restoration

The amount announced by the prosecutors in Espírito Santo is not final

Published in 26/02/2016 - 18:44 By Léo Rodrigues, Agência Brasil correspondent in Belo Horizonte - Belo Horizonte

Colatina (ES) - Rio Doce é atingido por rejeitos de mineração do rompimento da barragem da Samarco em Mariana, em Minas Gerais (Fred Loureiro/Secom ES)

The Doce river was affected by the tailings from the burst of a dam owned by Samarco in the town of Mariana, Minas Gerais. Fred Loureiro/Secom ES

As part of a new deal aimed at restoring the Doce river basin, severely damaged by the collapse of a dam owned by mining company Samarco in the town of Mariana, Minas Gerais last November, the company agreed to pay $1.11 billion for the restoration efforts over the course of the next three years.

The agreement is expected to be signed Monday (Feb. 29) and will be pending official approval before it is validated.

The amount announced by prosecutors in Espírito Santo is not final, as the measures designed to restore the Doce river basin should last ten years. After the first four years, efforts are expected to continue, with new calculations and more investment from Samarco. The lawsuit, lodged by the federal government along with the state governments of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, originally demanded $5.05 billion.

The funds should afford some 40 projects aimed at the environmental as well as socioeconomic recovery of the areas affected. In addition to the restoration of the basin, the deal covers compensation and assistance for the population. To manage the efforts, a foundation will be created in Belo Horizonte. Little is known about how the foundation will be formed, but it has been confirmed that the mining company will not be represented in it.

The collapse of the dam in Mariana caused the deaths of 19 people and brought about major problems for the Doce river basin and the municipalities affected by the sludge.

Samarco declared it will not make a statement about the topic at present.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Mining company to pay $1.11 bn in next three years for Doce river restoration

Edition: Nádia Franco / Olga Bardawil

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