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Mining Company Convicted in Deadly Dam Disaster

Vale SA was found responsible for the rupture of a containment dam that flooded a community with mining waste and killed nearly 300 people.

An aerial view shows a collapsed bridge caused by flooding triggered by a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil.
An aerial view shows a collapsed bridge caused by flooding triggered by a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil.
Bruno Correia/Nitro via AP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) β€” Brazilian mining giant Vale SA has been hit with its first conviction for a rupture of a containment dam that sent a tidal wave of mining waste through a rural community, killing nearly 300 people in January.  A state court announced the conviction in a statement posted on its website Tuesday. 

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira ordered Vale to pay for repairing "all the damages caused by the tragedy." He did not set a specific amount for the company to pay, but said the costs will be related to the deaths as well as damage to the environment and local economy.

The judge maintained a freeze on $2.9 billion in Vale assets. The court statement said Vale's defense did not deny responsibility for the damages caused by the dam rupture.


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