Brazil miner Vale expects to mostly finish paying for burst dam by 2021

FILE PHOTO: A view of a collapsed tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, in Brumadinho, Brazil February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Washington Alves

RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA on Wednesday said it expects to finish paying for most of the expenses related to the disaster at one of its facilities that killed at least 250 people by 2021.

In securities filings, Vale laid out its expectations for expenses related to the rupture of a mining dam at its facility in the town of Brumadinho in January, which released a torrent of mud burying buildings and people.

Lawmakers and prosecutors have questioned how the company allowed that disaster to happen only four years after a similar dam containing mining waste collapsed in 2015. Vale faces a variety of legal actions related to the disaster including lawsuits in Brazil, U.S. class actions and Brazilian exchange regulator probes.

For this year, Vale said it expected expenses related to halted operations because of the Brumadinho disaster to fall from $3-$4 per tonne of iron ore in the third quarter to $2.5-$3.5 per tonne in the fourth quarter.

Annual expenses related to taking down similar risky dams, repairing the environment and compensating victims are expected to peak at $1.5 billion to $2.1 billion next year before falling through 2022.

Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Jake Spring; Editing by Sandra Maler; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler

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