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Vale says Brazil court suspends Samarco damages lawsuit to help deal

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 16 (Reuters) - Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA said on Thursday that a federal court in Minas Gerais has suspended a case brought by prosecutors seeking 155 billion reais ($49.7 billion) in damages for the 2015 Samarco mine disaster.

Vale said in a securities filing the court suspended other lawsuits to facilitate negotiation of a final deal on damages resulting from the collapse of a tailings dam at the mine - a joint venture between Vale and the world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton Ltd.

($1 = 3.1180 reais) (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Flynn)