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BHP Billiton takes US$1.3b hit from Brazil mine disaster
[SYDNEY] Mining giant BHP Billiton on Thursday said it will book a charge of between US$1.1 billion and US$1.3 billion over the deadly Samarco dam disaster in Brazil in its upcoming annual results.
The world's largest miner said the provision, along with direct costs of another US$100 million, will be included in the results due on August 16.
It represents BHP's half share of contributions to a clean-up package under an agreement with Brazilian authorities signed in March, after the dam collapse in November killed 19 people and wreaked environmental havoc.
Anglo-Australian BHP co-owns the Samarco mine with Brazil's Vale.
"The recognition of the provision demonstrates our support for the long-term recovery of the communities and environment affected by the Samarco tragedy," said BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie.
The November accident destroyed an entire village and cut off water supplies for tens of thousands in what has been called one of the biggest environmental disasters in Brazil's history.
Work at the mine has been halted since the disaster and BHP and Vale have said operations are unlikely to restart this year.