Samarco to pay at least $5 bln in Brazil dam spill deal - source
BRASILIA, March 1 (Reuters) - Samarco Mineracao SA will pay at least 20 billion reais ($5 billion) in 15 years as part of a deal with the Brazilian government to settle a lawsuit for damages caused by a deadly dam spill at a mine, a government source told Reuters on Tuesday.
Samarco, a joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton, will pay 4.4 billion reais in the three years following the agreement that will be signed on Wednesday, said the official who asked for anonymity because the information was not public.
Regarded as Brazil's worst environmental disaster, the burst dam killed 19 people, forced hundreds to leave their homes and polluted one of the country's main rivers. ($1 = 3.9260 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by David Gregorio)
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