BHP’s Samarco joint venture files for judicial reorganisation
Samarco Mineraço SA, an iron ore company jointly owned by mining majors BHP Group PLC (LON:BHP)(ASX:BHP) and Vale (NYSE:VALE) filed for judicial reorganisation with the Commercial Courts of Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The filing is a last-resort response to multiple legal actions filed by certain Samarco financial creditors in the US and Brazil which have resulted in freezing orders against Samarco's accounts and which threaten Samarco's operations.
It was filed after unsuccessful attempts by Samarco to negotiate a debt restructure with these creditors.
The judicial reorganisation is a means for Samarco to restructure its financial debts in order to establish a sustainable independent financial position.
Samarco's operations will continue through the JR and restructure process.
The judicial reorganisation does not affect Samarco's obligation or commitment to make full redress for the 2015 Fundão dam failure.
R$12.2bn (approximately US$3bn) has already been spent on remediation and compensation programs. Compensation and financial assistance of approximately US$870mln has been paid to support approximately 320,000 people affected by the Fundão dam failure.
In addition, more than 10,000 claims have been settled over the seven months to March 2021 under the court-mandated "Novel payment" system designed to ensure compensation for claimants who had struggled to prove their damages in the most informal sectors of the economy across 23 territories.