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Repairs|Environmental
Repairs|Environmental
repairs|environmental

Vale to follow BHP on new provisions over dam failure, analysts say

The collapse of the tailings dam in Mariana in 2015 caused a mudslide that killed 19 people and severely polluted the Rio Doce river.

The collapse of the tailings dam in Mariana in 2015 caused a mudslide that killed 19 people and severely polluted the Rio Doce river.

15th February 2024

By: Reuters

  

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RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO - Brazilian miner Vale is expected to hike its provisions after BHP Group flagged a $3.2-billion impairment related to the failure of a dam operated by their joint venture Samarco, analysts said.

The collapse of the tailings dam in the Brazilian southeastern city of Mariana in 2015 caused a giant mudslide that killed 19 people and severely polluted the Rio Doce river, compromising the waterway to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Since then, several lawsuits for damage restitution have been filed against the companies. Last month, a federal judge in Brazil ruled that BHP, Vale and Samarco must pay up to 47.6-billion reais ($9.57-billion) in damages - though the decision remains subject to appeal.

"Vale's provisions at the end of the third quarter were $3.0-billion and in theory, we should see a similar increase to BHP since the JV (joint venture) is 50-50", Citi analysts Alexander Hacking and Stefan Weskott wrote in a report.

Ahead of its half year results next week, BHP said on Thursday it will record another $3.2-billion impairment in relation to the dam failure, reaching $6.5-billion for the case as of Dec. 31, 2023.

Analysts at Itau BBA led by Daniel Sasson said they calculated an additional provision between about $3.5-billion and $3.6-billion to match BHP provisions for the year, though they noted that investors in Vale with whom they had spoken were already factoring in extra provisions up to $4-billion.

Vale, which is expected to report earnings on February 22, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vale's shares were down 0.3% in the afternoon trade, while the Brazilian equities benchmark Bovespa .BVSP was up 0.5%.

In January, Vale said the Renova foundation, which the companies have been using to pay for some of the repairs, had as of last December paid 34.7-billion reais in socioeconomic and environmental compensation.

Edited by Reuters

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