Europe

Shares in miner tumble after Brazil sues over dam disaster

FILE - This is  Nov. 23, 2015  file photo of debris awash in mud in Bento Rodrigues, Brazil. After obliterating several towns, the tide of mud and debris surged forward, blanketing a wide swath of land and cascading into the Doce River.  Shares in miner BHP Billiton Ltd tumbled Wednesday May 4, 2016  after Brazil's Federal Public Prosecution said it had launched a $43 billion civil suit for a dam break that killed 19 people and caused the worst environmental disaster in the country's history.(AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

FILE - This is Nov. 23, 2015 file photo of debris awash in mud in Bento Rodrigues, Brazil. After obliterating several towns, the tide of mud and debris surged forward, blanketing a wide swath of land and cascading into the Doce River. Shares in miner BHP Billiton Ltd tumbled Wednesday May 4, 2016 after Brazil's Federal Public Prosecution said it had launched a $43 billion civil suit for a dam break that killed 19 people and caused the worst environmental disaster in the country's history.(AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)  (The Associated Press)

Shares in miner BHP Billiton Ltd tumbled after Brazil's Federal Public Prosecution said it had launched a $43 billion civil suit for a dam break that killed 19 people and caused the worst environmental disaster in the country's history.

BHP said Wednesday the suit seeks social, environmental and economic compensation in relation to the failure of the dam at the Samarco iron ore operation. Samarco is a joint venture of the giant mining companies Vale of Brazil and BHP Billiton of Australia.

The dam failed in November and unleashed a flood of toxic mud that destroyed several towns, killing people and damaging the environment.

BHP said it remains committed to helping Samarco to rebuild the community and restore the environment.

Shares were down 9.4 percent to 18.79 Australian dollars ($14.24).