Brazil state Minas seeks $4.8 bln Vale asset freeze over dam disaster


By Sabrina Valle and Luciano Costa

SAO PAULO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Brazil's Minas Gerais state authoritieshave asked a judgeto order miner Vale SA VALE3.SAto pay for economic losses and other damages stemming from last year's deadly Brumadinho tailings dam disaster, according to a statement on Wednesday.

The authorities, including state and federal prosecutors, have sent a joint petition seeking a judge's order for Vale to freeze 26.7 billion reais ($4.78 billion) in assets for eventual restitution to the state, the statement from the state prosecutor's office said.

The authorities are also seeking 28 billion reais ($5.01 billion) in collective "moral and social" damages. The petition calls for an immediate judgement against Vale.

The petition was signed by state prosecutors from Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais state itself, the state's public defense office and the federal public prosecution office in Minas and sent to the state's Justice. Vale did not have an immediate comment. The Brumadinho dam burst in January of 2019 unleashed an avalanche of muddy mining waste which killed an estimated 270 people, burying many of them alive.

($1 = 5.5878 reais)

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle and Luciano Costa; additional reporting by Roberto Samora and Ana Mano; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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