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Brazil demands dam burst damages

Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 00:53

The Brazilian government says it will sue the owners of the Samarco iron ore mine for $5.2 billion over the deadly failure of a waste water dam. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 The dam burst at an iron ore mine near the Brazilian town of Mariana unleashed 60 million cubic metre torrent of mud and mine waste. At least 13 people died, a whole village was destroyed, and a major river valley's been polluted. Brazil's environment minister plans to sue the mine's owners, BHP Billiton and Vale SA for $5.2 billion damages. (SOUNDBITE)(Portuguese) IZABELLA TEIXEIRA, BRAZIL'S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, SAYING: "Our evaluation committee determined at its last meeting that Mariana is one thing, and the other part of what happened along the river after Mariana. The lawsuit adds up to nearly 20 billion reais." The toxic mud's travelled 500 kilometres down river to the Atlantic Ocean where it's threatening leatherback turtles and other aquatic life.

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Brazil demands dam burst damages

Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 00:53