RIO DE JANEIRO, June 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale said on Thursday it would pay 557.7 million reais ($144.42 million) in the second half of the year to restore the environment and communities damaged by a 2015 disaster at Samarco, a joint venture it has with BHP Billiton.
The money, Vale said, will come from a separate provision made by the company in the second quarter of 2016.
Brazil’s worst environmental catastrophe ocurred when a dam designed to hold back mine waste burst in November, 2015, killing 19 people and leaving a trail of destruction for hundreds of kilometers.
Samarco’s operations have been halted ever since.
On Monday, Samarco, Vale, and BHP Billiton said they had signed a deal with Brazilian authorities that settled a 20 billion reais ($5.30 billion) lawsuit related to the accident.
Still looming over Samarco and its parents is a separate lawsuit, work 155 billion reais. BHP said on Monday that the settlement set a two-year timeline to reach a settlement over that case.
Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, also said on Thursday it planned to give a short term credit line worth $53 million to debt-plagued Samarco to cover operational and repair work in the second half of 2018. BHP announced a similar credit line and payments on Thursday. ($1 = 3.8617 reais) (Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Alexandra Alper)