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Samarco should be punished but not closed: Brazil mining minister
August 17, 2017 / 5:14 PM / in 4 months

Samarco should be punished but not closed: Brazil mining minister

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Samarco, a joint venture between BHP Biliton Ltd and Brazil’s Vale, should be punished but not closed over the 2015 collapse of a tailings dam that killed 19 people, Brazil’s mining and energy minister said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO - An Australian (2nd L) and a Brazilian (2nd R) flags are pictured on the entrance of the mine operator Samarco owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd in Mariana, Brazil, November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo

“Mistakes may have been made, but it was an accident,” Fernando Coelho Filho said at an event in Sao Paulo.

“We need to punish Samarco but not close it,” he said, adding that the creation of a new mining watchdog and periodic dam checks should head off future problems.

Reporting by Jose Roberto Gomes

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