Brazil puts $3 billion freeze on Vale assets after dam disaster

©Agence France-Presse

Sao Paulo (AFP) - Brazilian judicial authorities have frozen $3 billion in assets of the Vale mining company after a dam collapse at one of its sites left at least 37 dead and more than 250 missing.

The public prosecutor's office of the state of Minas Gerais announced late Saturday that it had frozen a total of 11 billion reales -- about $3 billion -- in Vale assets.

The dam break Friday at the Corrego do Feijao mining complex in southeastern Brazil unleashed a torrent of sludge that swept across buildings, roads and vehicles.

The order freezing Vale's assets said the company's real estate and vehicles would be embargoed if it could not come up with the full amount.

The company also has been hit with fines by the federal and state government totaling some $92.5 million.

Vale share prices fell Friday more than 8 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.