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Australia's BHP says no agreement reached on Samarco debt

[BENGALURU] Global miner BHP Group said on Tuesday that no agreement has been reached on restructuring the financial obligations of Samarco, its joint venture with Brazil's Vale SA, following a 2015 mine disaster.

BHP said in a statement that Samarco's operations will only restart if it is safe, economically viable and has the support of the community and regulators.

The statement comes after a second deadly dam burst in Brazil on Friday at a mine owned solely by Vale.

The Brazilian prosecutor running talks to settle a lawsuit over the Samarco accident told Reuters that the new dam burst could scramble negotiations and change how his task force handles the 155 billion reais (S$55.8 billion) case against Samarco.

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The case is currently suspended amid negotiations for a potential settlement

Vale lost about 71.34 billion reais in market value on Monday.

BHP shares rose about 2 per cent on Tuesday after a long weekend following a surge in iron ore prices on Monday, while the broader Australian market fell about 0.4 per cent.

REUTERS