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Brazil’s Vale gets first conviction in deadly dam disaster

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian mining giant Vale SA has been hit with its first conviction for a rupture of a containment dam that sent a tidal wave of mining waste through a rural community, killing nearly 300 people in January.

A state court announced the conviction in a statement posted on its website Tuesday.

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira ordered Vale to pay for repairing “all the damages caused by the tragedy.” He did not set a specific amount for the company to pay, but said the costs will be related to the deaths as well as damage to the environment and local economy.

The judge maintained a freeze on $2.9 billion in Vale assets. The court statement said Vale’s defense did not deny responsibility for the damages caused by the dam rupture.

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