Salary of BHP CEO cut in half after Brazil mine disaster

September 20, 2016 9:51 PM EDT

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie prepares to discuss the company's annual results at a meeting in Sydney, Australia August 20, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) (NYSE: BLT) Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie's annual salary was cut in half following the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil that claimed 19 lives and caused widespread environmental damage, the global miner said.

Mackenzie was paid $2.24 million in the 2016 fiscal year, down from $4.58 million the previous year. While his base salary was maintained at $1.7 million, he did not receive any short- or long-term incentive payments, according to BHP's annual report.

"The dam failure at Samarco was a key consideration, along with the ongoing decline in commodity markets and its associated impact on our performance," BHP said in the report.

Almost a year after the spill at the Samarco mine, owned jointly by BHP and Brazilian miner Vale , there is still no date for restarting operations, complicating attempts to restructure Samarco's debt and increasing the possibility the miner may be allowed to run out of money.

For the year to the end of June, BHP reported a record $6.4 billion net loss.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Ed Davies)

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