Brazilian state signs $2.2 billion 'mega-dam' deal with Chinese miner: report

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has signed a protocol of intent with Sul Americana de Metais, a unit of Chinese miner Honbridge Holdings, for the construction of a 9.1 billion reais ($2.2 billion) mining complex, newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo reported on Saturday.

The agreement, signed on Thursday, will include the construction of a 845 million square meters (208,804 acres)tailing dam, which will be one of the largest in Brazil, according to the report.

That “mega-dam” would be some 70 times bigger than the tailing dam that collapsed at Vale’s site in the Minas Gerais town of Brumadinho in January, which resulted in the deaths of more than 240 people.

Tailings are the muddy waste produced in mining for iron ore and other minerals. The waste is often contained within a dam built using a variety of methods.

Sul Americana de Metais insists the model is safe, according to the report.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Marguerita Choy