BHP Billiton has agreed to provide more funding to its Samarco joint venture in Brazil as well as to the non-profit foundation it has set up in the wake of the the 2015 mine dam collapse there.
The mining giant on Friday said it will provide total financial support of $US181 million ($A253 million) until June 30, 2018.
Of this, $US133 million will be earmarked for remediation and compensation programs undertaken by the Renova foundation.
Renova was set up last year through a framework agreement under which Samarco – an equal joint venture between BHP and Brazil’s Vale – agreed to pay up to $US2.3 billion over six years and set up a fund for restoration work and to provide compensation for damages.
It followed the 2015 mine dam collapse that claimed multiple lives and caused widespread environmental destruction in Brazil.
BHP is also making available $US48 million to Samarco, whose operations have remained suspended as talks continue with the government to obtain the required environmental licences.
This amount includes a short-term facility of up to $US42 million to carry out ongoing repair works, maintain Samarco’s facilities and support restart planning, and an amount of $US6 million to cover fees payable to experts appointed in connection with the remediation and compensation programs.
In November, the companies involved secured an additional 150 days to negotiate a settlement of multi-billion dollar public civil claims in Brazil.
At 1105 AEDT, BHP Billiton shares were up 1.3 per cent to $29.20 in a higher Australian market and resources sector.