Brazil state says losses from Samarco accident at 1.2 bln reais
SAO PAULO Feb 4 (Reuters) - Brazil's Minas Gerais state said on Thursday the November dam burst in an installation operated by miner Samarco caused losses to municipalities estimated at 1.2 billion reais ($308 million), not considering the environmental problems.
The state government released a detailed report containing an evaluation of impacts to infrastructure and activities, public and private, in the whole area in Minas Gerais that was affected by the mudslide resulting from the dam breach.
The accident in a iron pellets production site run by Samarco, a joint venture between Vale SA and BHP Billiton, killed at least 17 people and led to about 800 losing their homes.
The mud coming from the dam devastated a whole neighborhood in the city of Mariana and contaminated a key river that supplies fresh water to a large area in Minas Gerais.
Minas government said the report also includes suggestions for possible actions to restore impacted areas.
The findings could be added to a civil lawsuit already launched by the federal government that is seeking up to 20 billion reais in indemnities for losses stemming from the accident.
The Brazilian government considered the incident the worst environmental tragedy in the country's history.
(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Marta Nogueira; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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