"BHP intends to defend the claim"

Mining major BHP (ASX: BHP) has said it intends to defend a class action in relation to the 2015 Samarco dam failure in Brazil.

Staff reporter
Miner to defend Samarco class action

Miner to defend Samarco class action

BHP confirmed it had been served with a class action proceeding filed in the Federal Court of Australia in Victoria.

"BHP intends to defend the claim," it said in a short statement.

Law firm Phi Finney McDonald has said the class action would seek to recover some of the loss in share value suffered by investors because of BHP's alleged failure to disclose material information to the market and its alleged misleading or deceptive conduct.

BHP and its 50:50 joint venture partner at Samarco, Vale, reached agreement with Brazilian authorities last month to settle a US$5.3 billion (20 billion real) civil lawsuit over the dam failure.

They also established a process to renegotiate the remediation and compensation programmes over two years and progress settlement of a larger BRL155 billion (US$41 million) civil claim.

BHP has agreed to fund a total of US$211 million in financial support until December 31, with $158 million to the Renova Foundation for the remediation and compensation programmes, and a short-term facility of up to $53 million to Samarco Mineração for ongoing repair work, maintenance and restart planning.

The 2015 Fundao tailings dam failure killed 19 people, left hundreds homeless and caused widespread environmental damage.

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