The Renova Foundation has made significant advances in Brazil in the payment of individual compensations related to Samarco’s Fundão dam failure, in November 2015. By the end of March, payments to informal workers who have had difficulty proving the damages they suffered, exceeded the 10,000 mark - double the number of indemnities paid only 40 days before.
This rapid progress has been possible thanks to the court-mandated Simplified Indemnity System (the “Novel” system), an online tool with clear eligibility criteria that has been running since August 2020 and which is aimed at the most vulnerable of the people impacted by the dam failure. To date, over US$ 164 million* has been paid through the system and about 37,900 impacted people from 22 territories in Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo states have already signed up. The amounts of the indemnities, defined by the 12th Federal Court with a single and definitive settlement, vary from about US$ 3,000 to US$ 103,000, depending on the category of damage.
"The numbers show that the high volume of adherence to the system and the agility provided by the Simplified Indemnity System have achieved the objective of giving a definitive answer to people," says André de Freitas, CEO of the Renova Foundation.
Walquiria Felizardo, BHP Principal Corporate Affairs, has been working for three years supporting the Renova Foundation in the indemnity process: "The results we see give us confidence that the Simplified Indemnity System is the way forward to compensation. I am ready to see all the affected municipalities joining it, she says. Paulo Gomes, Principal Corporate Affairs, is also proud of the ongoing work and full support of the BHP Brazil team for the foundation: "It is fantastic to see people with fair and definitive payments and Renova overcoming this challenge, providing such an expedited solution," he says.
Until February 2021, Renova had spent approximately US$ 2,22 billion in reparation and compensation actions and had paid about US$ 630 million in indemnities and financial aid to approximately 320,000 people.
*USD/BRL FX Rate: 5.5