The Federal Public Prosecution Service in Brazil has filed a BRL155bn ($43bn) law suit against Samarco and its two shareholding companies Vale and BHP Billiton over the Samarco dam disaster occurred in 2015.

The firms will pay the social, environmental and economic compensation related to the Fundão dam disaster at the Samarco iron ore operation in Minas Gerais, Brazil on 5 November 2015, which reportedly killed as many as 19 people.

Both Vale and BHP said that they are yet to receive formal notice on the claim.

BHP said in a statement that it is "committed to helping Samarco to rebuild the community and restore the environment affected by the failure of the dam."

The claim follows completion of a task force-led assessment for over six months. The task force was launched following the disaster, the prosecutors said.

The prosecutors noted that the compensation has been calculated based on costs to restore the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

On 2 March 2016, Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton have signed a settlement agreement with the Brazilian authorities over the dam disaster, which is claimed to be the country’s worst environmental disaster ever.

The 15-year agreement was signed with the Federal Attorney General of Brazil, the states of Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais and other public authorities to restore the environment and communities.

BHP expects the agreement, which is subject to Court approval, to provide a long-term remedial and compensation framework for the Samarco tragedy.