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World Environmental groups propose tailings dam safety standards

08:15  30 june  2020
08:15  30 june  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Exclusive: Global tailings dam standards fall short of changes sought by civil society groups

  Exclusive: Global tailings dam standards fall short of changes sought by civil society groups Exclusive: Global tailings dam standards fall short of changes sought by civil society groupsTORONTO (Reuters) - A sweeping global standard that sets out how the world's largest miners care for waste dams falls short of measures environmental and civil society groups say are needed to avert future disasters, according to a copy of the final draft seen by Reuters.

Tailings dams , which are embankments constructed near mines to store mining waste in a liquid or solid form, can sometimes tower dozens of meters high and Instead, they call for appointing at least one executive responsible for tailings dam safety who is accountable to the chief executive and has

The world’s largest mining trade group said on Monday it has concerns with standards being considered for global tailings dam safety , especially how the new rules “There’s still some way to go before ICMM can endorse the final standard .” (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Chris Reese).

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows mine tailings from the Cana Brava chrysotile mine in Minacu © Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino FILE PHOTO: A general view shows mine tailings from the Cana Brava chrysotile mine in Minacu

(Reuters) - Mining companies should be required to buy private insurance for tailings dams and their board of directors should be held legally responsible for any disasters, a coalition of 140 environmental groups said in a report published on Tuesday.

The recommendations, which differ from standards to be published soon from a group that includes miners and investors, come as public scrutiny over tailings dams has intensified after the deadly 2019 collapse of a Brazil dam owned by Vale SA .

Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada, two prominent environmental nonprofits, co-wrote the report https://earthworks.org/safety-first that includes 16 recommendations they hope will be adopted by regulators across the world and used by bankers as they consider whether to lend to miners.

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Tailings dams are the most common waste disposal methods for mining companies, whether Mine operators will have to develop knowledge about the social, economic and environmental context of a The standards will review design, construction, operation and monitoring of tailings facilities.

The increasing number and size of tailings dams around the globe magnifies the potential environmental , social and economic cost of catastrophic failure impact and the risks and costs of Roche, Charles., Kristina Thygesen, and Elaine Baker. Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident.

Tailings dams, which are embankments constructed near mines to store mining waste in a liquid or solid form, can sometimes tower dozens of meters high and stretch for several kilometers. They are the most common waste-disposal method for miners, but they can be dangerous depending on construction method and a host of other factors.

For graphic 'The Looming Risk of Tailings Dams', click https://graphics.reuters.com/MINING-TAILINGS1/0100B4S72K1/index.html

The Earthworks-led report recommends that new tailings dams be banned near inhabited areas; make dam inspection data easily available; and make safety, not cost, the main factor in a dam's construction.

"We hope local governments and local regulators, as well as lenders, insurers and investors, take these recommendations into account," said Earthworks' Jan Morrill, who co-authored the report.

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VANCOUVER, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The world's largest mining trade group said on Monday it has concerns with standards being considered for global tailings dam safety , especially how the new rules will apply to new and existing facilities. An independent panel backed by the International Council on

Establish world-wide standards for tailings dam safety These must include: Planning Tailings Dams - Risk of Dangerous Occurrences, Lessons learnt from practical experiences, Bulletin Damage Cases and Environmental Releases from Mines and Mineral Processing Sites, U.S. Environmental

Reuters reported last week that the Global Tailings Review (GTR), a panel of industry, investor and United Nations groups, had finalized its own tailings dam standards, which are not binding and are set to be released in the coming weeks https://globaltailingsreview.org/statement-on-global-tailings-review.

The GTR's final standards do not require private insurance and do not place final culpability with a company's board. Instead, they call for appointing at least one executive responsible for tailings dam safety who is accountable to the chief executive and has regular communication with the board.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; additional reporting by Jeff Lewis; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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