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Brazilian Prosecutor Charges BHP and Vale Executives With Manslaughter

BHP Billiton ( BHP) and Vale ( VALE) executives have been charged with "qualified homicide" for their alleged role in last year's deadly collapse of a dam at the companies' Sarmaco iron ore joint venture in Brazil.

Brazil's federal prosecutors office filed charges against the companies and 21 people, including BHP's former iron ore President Jimmy Wilson and Vale's head of ferrous metals Peter Poppinga, claiming they shared responsibility for the dam's November failure which destroyed the town of Bento Rodrigues and killed 19 people.

BHP shares traded Friday in London at 1,219 pence ($14.88), marginally higher than their Thursday close. Vale shares closed Thursday at 17.92 brazilian reais ($5.69).

Lead prosecutor Jose Leite Sampaio alleges Samarco, BHP, Vale and VOGBR, a Brazilian engineering company that certified the dam, were aware of the potential for the dam to fail and that the mining companies chose to...


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