Brazil state gives Vale ultimatum on settlement talks

SAO PAULO — Brazilian iron miner Vale SA failed on Thursday to reach a legal settlement with Minas Gerais state regarding a deadly dam disaster, with the state warning it would not take “crumbs” and giving a 10-day deadline for a better offer.

About 270 people died in 2019 in the town of Brumadinho in Minas Gerais after a dam burst. The state government and Vale had been in meetings to discuss an agreement, but those negotiations ended unsuccessfully, Mateus Simões, a state official, told journalists.

Vale said in a statement there was no consensus on the amount of compensation or how the money should be used. The producer has so far allocated 10 billion reais ($1.87 billion) for reparations and will continue to compensate victims, it said.

Simões added that Vale now had 10 days to present a new proposal. He declined to talk numbers but said the miner had presented a proposed settlement that was insufficient to remedy the harm caused.

“We won’t take just any crumbs they throw. If the value is not enough, it will not be accepted,” said Simões, who is Minas Gerais’ secretary for state administration. “I’m very bothered by the tone Vale is using … like if it were giving a present.”

The language used by the state was its strongest since the disaster happened almost two years ago.

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