Some of the mining majors have already publicly released their own stringent standards but say implementation and assurance of stakeholders needs improving. There is also a wider challenge of getting smaller miners that do not belong to the ICMM to sign up to the standards.
The disaster in Brazil was the second major accident involving tailings dams within almost four years and has made some investors wary of owning mining shares and raised uncertainty among insurance companies. It is estimated there are about 3,500 active tailings dams globally and a recent review estimated one in ten have stability issues.
The draft noted investors have a role to play in limiting their financial support only to projects that fulfil the standards proposed and insurance companies should insist mining companies minimise the risk from tailings dams.
Adam Matthews from the Church of England Pensions Board representing PRI said “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.”
Tough new global standards on mining waste storage under consideration https://t.co/SqKmjaFiUO
— fastFT (@fastFT) November 15, 2019