ICMM commits to new tailings dam measures – by Esmarie Swanepoel (MiningWeekly.com – December 6, 2016)


PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has adopted a range of new measures to manage tailing dams, following the Samarco disaster in 2015, which claimed the lives of 19 people in Brazil.

The ICMM in December last year launched a review of the global tailings management of its member companies, which include majors BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Newmont and South32.

The review report focused on surface tailings management across the ICMM membership, including a review of standards and governance. The review, which was published on Tuesday, concluded that an increased emphasis on governance was needed to ensure that extensive existing technical and management guidance was more effectively applied.

As a result, ICMM has issued a new position statement that commits members to minimise the risk of catastrophic failures of tailings dams by adopting six key elements of management and governance, which include accountability, responsibility and competency, planning and resourcing, risk management, change management, and emergency preparedness and response.

The position statement has been unanimously endorsed by all CEOs of member companies, and members are expected to implement commitments to the position statement by November 2018.

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