The Minerals Council South Africa has welcomed the recent publication of the new global industry standard on tailings management.

Mines need to study the new tailings dam standards and ensure that their tailings management systems are in line with those contained in the standard. Iamge credit: Mining Mirror

Mines need to study the new tailings dam standards and ensure that their tailings management systems are in line with those contained in the standard. Iamge credit: Mining Mirror

The development of the standard was prompted by the Brumadinho Tailing Dam disaster in Brazil in January 2019. It was developed by the Global Tailings Review (GTR) which was convened soon after the accident by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).

The Minerals Council and several of its members belong to the ICMM and engaged actively with the GTR during its consultations. Compliance with the standard is to become mandatory for ICMM members. The Minerals Council has advised that all its members study the standard and ensure that their tailings management systems are in line with those contained in the standard.

The standard deals with, and integrates social, environmental, local economic and technical considerations in tailings management. It unambiguously places accountability for tailings management at the most senior levels of company structures, and also sets terms for independent oversight.