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The deadline for the settlement of claims between Vale and BHP Billiton and Brazilian authorities over the Samarco dam disaster have been extended to April 20, 2018.

Vale and BHP Billiton, owners of the dam that caused Brazil’s biggest environmental catastrophe in 2015, have agreed with Brazilian prosecutors to extend the talks for an additional 150 days, BHP said in a statement on Tuesday.

The two mining groups, who each own 50 per cent of Samarco, are negotiating with Brazilian authorities over the settlement of $47.6bn and $6.1bn in civil claims relating to the dam failure which killed 19 people and caused widespread damage.

In an amendment to January’s preliminary agreement announced on Tuesday, state prosecutors become a party to the agreement and more time has been provided for community consultation, BHP said.

Shares in BHP were up 0.2 per cent in Sydney as the wider ASX 300 Mining index lifted 0.5 per cent.

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