Tailings Dams and Due Diligence – Questions for the Board, shareholders and potential investors – by Steve Mackowski (InvestorIntel.com – November 24, 2015)


A large tailings dam has burst. Its contents; millions of tonnes of sludge, a muddy deluge, have spewed forth and destroyed a local village with tragic loss of life.

The tidal wave of man-made misery and despair continues seemingly unstoppable contaminating water ways, destroying the ecology so necessary to the local indigenous people, polluting water sources, on its way downstream.

What is the overall impact to the local environment? What is the sociological loss? What is the cost of remediation? What is the consequent legal cost? What is the loss of reputation cost?

What is the cost of managing the very public outcry and revolt, the world wide furore, the resultant third party funded litigation? Less selfishly, what is the cost to the industry as a whole?

A tailings dam failure is not an isolated event. Failure and loss of control are potentially every day occurrences. It may not be your dam, it may not be in your country or continent, but they do occur.

They should not, but they do. Why, is perhaps a technical question or it may be economic, but the failure is not an Act of God. It was preventable; it should have been prevented; but it was not.

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