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Events > Dialogue Series - Tailings Dams
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6th Roundtable - Public access to information from the perspective of GISTM: Challenges and examples of communication on tailings management in the Brazilian reality

16th March, 2022

 

Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management

 

The Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management was developed from the Global Tailings Review (GRR), an independent process jointly organised in March 2019 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) following the catastrophic dam collapse in Brumadinho, on 25 January 2019.

The set of guidelines reinforces current practices in the mining sector by integrating local social, environmental, technical and economic factors, and covers the entire life cycle of tailings dams structures - from site selection, design and construction, through management and monitoring, to closure and post-closure.

Looking for to avoid any harm to people and the environment, the new Standard sets out significantly more stringent criteria for the industry to achieve sound social, environmental and technical outcomes. As well as extending accountability to the highest organisational levels and providing for new requirements for independent oversight, the Standard also sets clear expectations regarding compliance with global transparency and disclosure requirements, helping to improve stakeholder understanding.

Each of the co-organisers has endorsed the Standard and advocates for its broad and effective implementation across the sector:

  • UNEP will support governments that wish to use and incorporate the new standard into their national or state laws and policies.
  • PRI, representing US$103.4 trillion in assets under management, will develop an investor expectations statement to support all mining companies in implementing the Standard.
  • ICMM member companies will implement the Standard as a membership commitment, which includes undertaking robust site-level validations and external assessments." (UNEP, 2020)

The new Standard has synergy with the efforts of the UK Government which, together with the Anglican Church of the UK, is seeking solutions for safer and more responsible mining around the world.