BHP’s Brazilian assets frozen
A Brazilian judge has frozen the Brazilian assets of BHP Billiton and Vale SA after finding that their joint venture Samarco would not be able to pay for the damage caused by the mudslide disaster last month.
Last Friday the judge ruled that the mining giants could be held responsible for the disaster caused by the collapse of two dams at the Samarco Mine.
The government is seeking 20 billion reais in damages – roughly $A7.02 billion.
The judgement handed down by the judge did not disclose the value of the assets that had been blocked, but estimated that it would cover up to half of the damages being sought by the government.
The judge also stated that Samarco must make a substantial financial contribution within the next 30 days to cover the cost of the clean up.
2 billion reais must be payed within 30 days, if this deadline is missed the company will receive a fine of 1.5 million reais for each day the amount remains unpaid.