(Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA agreed to pay $55.9 million to settle charges related to alleged false and misleading disclosures about the safety of its dams before a 2019 dam collapse in Brazil that killed 270 people, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. on Tuesday.
The US regulator sued Vale in April, alleging the company had manipulated dam safety audits, obtained fraudulent stability certificates and misled local authorities, communities and investors with its environmental, social and governance disclosures.
A dam in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho burst in January 2019, unleashing a river of toxic mine waste that crushed a cafeteria and destroyed parts of the nearby countryside.
Vale, one of the world̵7;s largest producers of iron ore, allegedly knew for years that its Brumadinho dam did not meet internationally recognized standards for dam safety, the SEC said in the lawsuit.
In a statement, Vale said it resolved the allegations without admitting or denying the SEC claims. “Vale continues its commitment to address and repair the damage caused by the 2019 Brumadinho dam collapse,” it said.
The settlement must be approved by the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.