Ethical investors ask miners to publish tailings dam details (Reuters U.S. – April 5, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Ethical investors working on a global standard for tailings dams have written to 683 listed resource companies, including major miners, asking for information to be made public within 45 days about every facility they control.

The safety of dams used to store mining waste, known as tailings, has gain prominence after the collapse of a Vale tailings dam in Brazil in January killed an estimated 300 people.

The International Council on Mining and Minerals (ICMM) industry group said in March it was working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to develop new standards.

“It is essential that investors can establish a clear line of sight on which company has which tailings facility and how that facility is being managed. The current disclosures from companies are largely inadequate,” Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement for the Church of England Pensions Board, said in a statement.

The PRI brings together ethical investors, including the Church of England, overseeing around $80 trillion worth of investments.

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