Brazil vows to make BHP, Vale pay for deadly mine disaster

MARIANA, Brazil – Brazil’s government said on Wednesday it may fine mining giants BHP Billiton and Vale for the “environmental catastrophe” caused by ruptured dams at an iron-ore mine jointly owned by the companies in a south-eastern state.

The government is increasingly concerned over the rising death toll and contaminated mud flowing through two states as a result of the disaster. It is studying the mine’s permits and will ensure the owners pay for cleanup costs, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said in Brasília, the capital.

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