Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 6-K


PURSUANT TO RULE 13a-16 OR 15d-16


March 2, 2016





(ABN 49 004 028 077)

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)



(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organisation)




(Address of principal executive offices)



(REG. NO. 3196209)

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)



(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organisation)




(Address of principal executive offices)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual reports under cover of Form 20-F or Form 40-F:    x  Form 20-F     ¨  Form 40-F

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper as permitted by Regulation S-T Rule 101(b)(1):  ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper as permitted by Regulation S-T Rule 101(b)(7):  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant by furnishing the information contained in this Form is also thereby furnishing the information to the Commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934:    ¨  Yes    x  No

If “Yes” is marked, indicate below the file number assigned to the registrant in connection with Rule 12g3-2(b): n/a







Release Time    IMMEDIATE
Date    2 March 2016
Release Number    7/16


Samarco Mineracao S.A (Samarco) and its two shareholders, Vale S.A (Vale) and BHP Billiton Brasil LTDA (BHPB Brasil), have entered into an agreement with the Federal Attorney General of Brazil, the States of Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais and certain other public authorities (Brazilian Authorities) for the restoration of the environment and communities affected by the Samarco dam failure on 5 November 2015.

The Agreement provides a long-term remedial and compensation framework for responding to the impact of the Samarco tragedy.

Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil will establish a Foundation that will develop and execute environmental and socio-economic programs to remediate and provide compensation for damage caused by the Samarco dam failure.

There are two broad types of programs included in the Agreement:


    Reparatory Programs to restore the environment, local communities and the social condition of the affected areas; and


    Compensatory Programs to provide compensation where remediation is not possible, and to provide compensation on a goodwill basis for certain special projects which go beyond strict make-good and compensation (for example, improvements to sewage systems and landfill management in the river basin).

The Foundation will be governed by a seven member Board, with Samarco, BHP Billiton Brasil, and Vale each appointing two members and the Brazilian Authorities appointing one member. The Foundation will be assisted in its work by an advisory panel that will include technical experts, regulators and community representatives.

The Foundation will submit remediation and compensation programs for approval to a Council consisting of representatives of the Brazilian Authorities. The Foundation’s activities will be subject to independent external audit.

The term of the Agreement is 15 years, renewable for periods of one year successively until all obligations under the Agreement have been performed.



Samarco will fund the Foundation with contributions as follows (calendar years):


    BRL2 billion (approximately US$500 million) in 2016, less the amount of funds already spent on, or allocated to, remediation and compensation activity 1,
    BRL1.2 billion (approximately US$300 million) in 2017, and
    BRL1.2 billion (approximately US$300 million) in 2018.

The amount of annual contributions for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 will vary between a minimum of BRL800 million (approximately US$200 million) and a maximum of BRL1.6 billion (approximately US$400 million), depending on the remediation and compensation projects which are to be undertaken in the particular year.

To the extent Samarco does not meet its funding obligations, each of Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil is liable in proportion to its 50 per cent shareholding in Samarco.

Samarco will continue to conduct and fund the humanitarian and environmental recovery and remediation work until the Foundation is operational, which is likely to be in the next few months.

The Agreement is subject to Court approval. If approved, the Agreement will settle the civil public claim commenced on 30 November 2015 by the Brazilian Authorities against Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil which sought the establishment of a fund of up to BRL20 billion in aggregate for clean-up costs and damages relating to the dam failure.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie said: “This Agreement is an important step forward in supporting the long-term recovery of the communities and environment affected by the Samarco dam failure. It provides a platform for the parties to work together to support the remediation of affected areas.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to repairing the damage caused and to contributing to a lasting improvement in the Rio Doce.”

Further information on BHP Billiton can be found at: bhpbilliton.com


1 For example amounts already paid by Samarco, or held in Court or frozen accounts.



Media Relations   Investor Relations
Australia and Asia   Australia and Asia
Emily Perry   Tara Dines
Tel: +61 3 9609 2800 Mobile +61 477 325 803   Tel: +61 3 9609 2222 Mobile: +61 499 249 005
Email: Emily.Perry@bhpbilliton.com   Email: Tara.Dines@bhpbilliton.com
Eleanor Colonico   Andrew Gunn
Tel: +61 3 9609 2360 Mobile +61 407 064 748   Tel: +61 3 9609 3575 Mobile: +61 402 087 354
Email: Eleanor.Colonico@bhpbilliton.com   Email: Andrew.Gunn@bhpbilliton.com
Paul Hitchins   United Kingdom and South Africa

Tel: +61 3 9609 2592 Mobile +61 419 315 001

Email: Paul.Hitchins@bhpbilliton.com



Jonathan Price

  Tel: +44 20 7802 4131 Mobile: +44 7990 527 726
United Kingdom and South Africa   Email: Jonathan.H.Price@bhpbilliton.com
Ruban Yogarajah   Americas

Tel: +44 207 802 4033 Mobile +44 7827 082 022

Email: Ruban.Yogarajah@bhpbilliton.com



James Wear

  Tel: +1 212 310 1421 Mobile: +61 429 124 209
Jennifer White   Email: James.Wear@bhpbilliton.com

Tel: +44 207 802 7462 Mobile +44 7827 253 764

Email: Jennifer.White@bhpbilliton.com



Joseph Suarez

  Tel: +1 212 310 1422 Mobile: +1 646 400 3803
North America   Email: Joseph.Suarez@bhpbilliton.com
Jaryl Strong  
Tel: +1 713 499 5548 Mobile: +1 281 222 6627  
Email: Jaryl.Strong@bhpbilliton.com  
BHP Billiton Limited ABN 49 004 028 077   BHP Billiton Plc Registration number 3196209
Registered in Australia   Registered in England and Wales
Registered Office: Level 18, 171 Collins Street   Registered Office: Neathouse Place
Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia   London SW1V 1LH United Kingdom
Tel +61 1300 55 4757 Fax +61 3 9609 3015   Tel +44 20 7802 4000 Fax +44 20 7802 4111

Members of the BHP Billiton Group which is

headquartered in Australia



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This release was made outside the hours of operation of the ASX market announcements office




Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.


      BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc
Date:   March 2, 2016   By:  

/s/ Margaret Taylor

    Name:   Margaret Taylor
    Title:   Company Secretary