The Minerals Council South Africa has welcomed the publication of the new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management.
The Global Tailings Review (GTR) on August 5 launched the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, which aims to ensure tailings dam failures are a thing of the past.
The GTR was co-convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), in response to the catastrophic failure of a tailings facility at the Córrego do Feijão mine, in Brumadinho, Brazil, in January 2019.
The Minerals Council and a number of its members are members of the ICMM and engaged actively with the GTR during its consultations.
Compliance with the standard will become mandatory for ICMM members, and according to an article in Mining Weekly on August 5, the standard will strengthen current practices in the mining industry by integrating social, environmental, local economic and technical considerations.
The new standard covers the entire tailings facility lifecycle – from site selection, design and construction, management and monitoring, through to closure and post-closure.
The council has called on its members to study the standard and to “work towards ensuring that their tailings management systems are in line with those contained in the Standard”.
“It unambiguously places accountability for tailings management at the most senior levels of company structures, and also sets terms for independent oversight,” the Minerals Council says.