BHP Vale to fund, extend credit over Samarco disaster

BHP Billiton and Vale Sa have each approved $181 million to fund remediation and compensation programs at the Samarco iron ore joint venture in Brazil following a deadly mine disaster in November 2015.

Likewise, BHP and Vale will each extend credit lines of $115 million each to Samarco, the companies said.

BHP said the funding will be offset against a $1.2 billion provision recognized on June 30, 2016.

BHP told Reuters in October it expects to complete work by year-end to contain the remaining waste that spewed from the Samarco iron ore project, causing Brazil’s worst environmental disaster on record.

When the Fundao dam burst at the mine, enough mud to fill 12,000 Olympic swimming pools flattened an entire village, killed 19 people and left hundreds homeless.

BHP said the funds will be released to Samarco subject to the achievement of key milestones.

“The short-term facility allows BHP Billiton Brasil to

preserve the value of its investment as options for restart continue to be assessed,” it said.