BC independent panel report on Mount Polley will inform task force’s review
OTTAWA, March 17, 2015 /CNW/ – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has commissioned an independent, multi-stakeholder expert task force to review its tailings management requirements and guidance documents under its Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a mandatory program for all MAC members, to ensure they are as effective as they can be at preventing tailings dam failures and optimizing the design, construction and ongoing management of tailings storage facilities. MAC plans to publish the task force’s final report by the end of 2015.
The formation of the independent task force is part of MAC’s ongoing review of its tailings management program, which it proactively initiated immediately following the August 4th 2014 tailings breach at the Mount Polley mine, located in south-central British Columbia. The task force will review TSM’s tailings management requirements and MAC’s three tailings management guides, and will advise on how these can be enhanced and strengthened. The findings and recommendations of the BC independent expert engineering investigation and review panel’s report, released in late January, will be assessed by the task force as part of its review.
One of the BC panel’s key recommendations pertaining to corporate governance was that any mining operation proposing to operate a tailings storage facility in BC should either be required to be a member of MAC—ensuring adherence to TSM—or be obliged to commit to an equivalent program that would also include an audit function. Notwithstanding this endorsement, the MAC Board of Directors believes that a review to consider further enhancements to and strengthening of the tailings component of TSM is warranted.