The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have co-convened a global tailings review to establish an international standard for the safe management of tailings storage facilities that can be applied to all tailings dams wherever they are located and whoever operates them. The aim is to complete this work by the end of the year.
The review will evaluate current global good practices in the mining industry, and beyond, as well as evidence and lessons learned from catastrophic failures of tailings storage facilities at Brumadinho (2019), Mariana (2015), Mount Polley (2014) and others to develop the standard.
The details of the standard will be defined through the review process but will at a minimum include:
A global and transparent consequence-based tailings facility classification system.
Requirements for emergency planning and preparedness.
A system for credible and independent assurance of tailings facilities.
The standard will become an ICMM company member commitment, alongside other sustainable development performance expectations. All co-convening partners will encourage other mining and metals companies to join in advocating for it to be accepted more broadly.