Mining giant BHP facing class-action lawsuit over Samarco dam in Brazil

BHP has provisioned $650 million in 2018-2019, which was at the lower end of their expectations.

On Monday, Melbourne, Victoria-based BHP, formerly known as BHP Billiton, an Anglo-Australian multinational mining, metals and petroleum company stated, it has been served with a class-action suite in the Federal Court of Australia. The lawsuit relates to the failure of the Samarco dam in Brazil in 2015 which killed 19 people.

BHP did not specify who has filed the class-action lawsuit. It said it would defend the claim in Victoria state. It did not specify who had filed the class action.

In June 2018, Samarco and its parent companies, Vale SA and BHP signed a deal with Brazilian authorities for $5.30 billion (20 billion reais) to settle a lawsuit related to the failure of the dam.

As part of the agreement, BHP had also agreed to setup a $211 million fund to support and assist the Renova Foundation which was created to help the victims of the Samarco dam disaster.

Last week, BHP disclosed it expects to further charge $650 million in fiscal year 2018, as a result of the failure.

Analysts had expected the the charge to be much higher. The $650 million was at the lower end of their expectations.

With the news reaching the market, BHP’s shares fell by 1% on Monday.


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