Brazil's federal and state governments plan to sue the owners of the Samarco iron ore miner for 20 billion reais ($5.24 billion) in damages caused by the burst of a tailings dam, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told reporters on Friday.
The dam burst earlier this month unleashed 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste that devastated a village, killed at least 13 people and polluted a major river valley.
Teixeira said the suit will be filed on Monday. The proceeds will be put in a fund and used for environmental cleanup in the Rio Doce valley over 10 years, Attorney General Luís Inácio Adams said.
Samarco has already been fined 250 million reais by Brazil's environmental agency, Ibama, for the disaster, which covered the flood plain in mud for 80 kilometers as well as polluting the river. Fish died and drinking water supplies for a quarter of a million people had to be closed off.