Brazil's Coelho says Samarco may resume operations subject to conditions

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 15, 2016 11:26 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's Samarco Mineração SA will be able to resume iron ore mining operations should co-owners Vale SA and BHP Billiton Plc come through with promised investments, Mining and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho said on Thursday.

Samarco had operations halted last November, when a tailings dam at the mine burst and unleashed a mud flow that killed 19 people, left hundreds homeless and polluted a major river.

Coelho told reporters in Rio de Janeiro that power utility Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA has told the government that it is interested in retaining control of three power dams whose operating licenses could be auctioned off in the second half of next year.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Anthony Boadle)