Global Tailings Review opens the floor for input

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has confirmed the availability of the draft Global Tailings Standard, and the Global Tailings Review (GTR) has launched a public consultation regarding its contents
Global Tailings Review opens the floor for input Global Tailings Review opens the floor for input Global Tailings Review opens the floor for input Global Tailings Review opens the floor for input Global Tailings Review opens the floor for input

The tailings dam at the Córrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, breached on January 25

Staff reporter

All interested parties are invited to submit feedback to the GTR on the draft standard so that a "robust, fit-for-purpose international standard" for safer tailings management can be created.

The consultation, which ends on December 31, is made up of two elements: an online survey, available in seven languages, and in-country consultations being held worldwide.

The draft standard has addressed six key topics: knowledge base; affected communities; design, construction, operation and monitoring of tailings facilities; management and governance; emergency response and long-term recovery; and public disclosure and access to information.

When the final standard is published, the Global Tailings Review is planning to provide a consultation report that compiles collected feedback, key themes, topics and sentiments from stakeholder groups, along with how it processed and addressed the received input.

A final standard and accompanying recommendations report, to include broader proposals to support uptake and implementation, is expected to be published next year.

ICMM CEO Tom Butler said: "We note there is still much work to do in order for ICMM to endorse the final standard. ICMM's membership is committed to engaging in an open and transparent discussion and providing feedback through the consultation in order to ensure the final standard is both feasible and effective in meeting our shared goal."

"The Brumadinho disaster should never have happened and, as a result, we are all challenged to look at how the issue of tailings dams is addressed both in terms of the legacy of tailings facilities, the future operation of existing tailings facilities and future standards when a company decides if a tailings facility is needed," Principles for Responsible Development (PRI) representative Adam Matthews added.

"There are a number of responses underway, and the development of a new standard by this independent review will be a key tool for companies in driving best practice. We are mindful that zero harm to people and environment has to be the objective and the standard has an important role to play to achieving a mining sector whose tailings facilities are operating to such a standard."

The draft standard and public consultation is available here.

The Global Tailings Review is made up of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), ICMM and PRI, and was formed after the January 2019 tailings dam collapse at a Vale mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, with the goal of establishing an international standard on tailings facilities management.