Establishing an international standard for the safer management of tailings storage facilities

Global Tailings Review

The catastrophic failure of a tailings storage facility at Vale’s Corrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, on 25 January 2019 is a human and environmental tragedy. When the dam collapsed, shortly after noon, 11.7 million cubic meters of mining waste surged through the mine site towards the local town and countryside below, resulting in over five miles of destruction. As of 9 September 2019, 248 people are confirmed dead, and 22 are missing. This is a stark reminder that, while the mining and metals industry has come a long way in improving how it operates, there’s still much more that can be done to safeguard lives, improve performance and demonstrate transparency.

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) share a commitment to the adoption of global best practices on tailings storage facilities. They have co-convened this global tailings review to establish an international standard. This review is being led by Dr Bruno Oberle.

Remembering Brumadinho

One year on from the Brumadinho dam collapse, Bruno Oberle, Chair of the Global Tailings Review, made the following statement:

“On the anniversary of the devastating tragedy at Brumadinho, we remember those who lost their lives and those whose lives will forever more be impacted by loss suffered on that day.”

About the Global Tailings Review

The Global Tailings Review is an initiative co-convened by the International Council on Mining and Metals, United Nations Environment Programme and the Principles for Responsible Investment.