Sessions at the EGU2020

Every year the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) brings together thousands of scientists and researchers all around the world to present and debate the latest findings in the field of Earth Science. This year the EGU2020 took place during the first week of May in an online format.

Mark Davison and Eleanor Ainscoe from HR Wallingford presented (remotely) two research projects related to DAMSAT. Their presentations are available in our resources page.

The EGU2020 was a very successful and innovative conference, not only because of the high-quality of the work presented but because the unprecedented online format made the event accessible to everyone around to globe.

DAMSAT progress

The impact of COVID-19 on DAMSAT

Amid the strange times we are living, we continue making progress on the development of DAMSAT whilst following the health recommendations issued by competent authorities.

Thanks to the new technology, remote working has allowed the teams in England and Peru to continue developing the final version of DAMSAT, which will be ready by the middle of this year.

During the last few weeks we have been working on the development of the Risk Analysis module for the Pasco region. This module includes models of tailings and water dams breach, flood propagation, simulations of the evacuation of people in potentially affected areas, as well as the quantification of the potential damages. We are also working on improving the visualisation of results, preparing project dissemination materials as well as taking care of administrative tasks.

Cooperation agreement between Peru and the United Kingdom

CONIDA, the Peruvian Space Agency, the UK Space Agency and HR Wallingford have signed a cooperation agreement.

This agreement represents an important step forward in the development of the project, since not only are the images of the Peruvian satellite going to be incorporated into the system to prevent the failure of dams and tailings deposits, but DAMSAT is also helping to join efforts to protect vulnerable communities and prevent environmental disasters.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by the Vice Minister of Mines of Peru, August Cauti, representatives of OSINERGMIN, OEFA, CONIDA, officials of the British Embassy and a delegation from HR Wallingford and FUNAINHI.

The Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General of the British Embassy in Lima, Colin Gray, highlighted the importance of research and innovation projects as a way of solving the environmental challenges of our time and achieve sustainable development.

Likewise, Major General FAP Javier Tuesta of CONIDA, expressed his support for the initiative presented by DAMSAT and reinforced the commitment of  Peru to apply the latest technological advances.

Meeting at the British Embassy in Lima to sign the Cooperation Agreement and discuss the best way forward to ensure the sustainability of DAMSAT with representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, CONIDA, OEFA, Osinergmin and the British Embassy

We welcome the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative

Shorty after the Córrego do Feijão mining facility tragedy in Brumadinho, a group of institutions brought together by the Church of England Pensions Board and the Council on Ethics of the Swedish National Pension Funds started The Investor Mining & Tailings Satety Initiative. This initiative aims to improve the standards around tailings management in the mining industry.

DAMSAT welcomes this initiative as, just like DAMSAT, it is a great project to minimise the risk of tailings storage facilities failure.

The Global Tailing Review

The group first called for a new public, international and independent standard for tailings storage facilities. This call brought to life the Global Tailings Review, a project led by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The Global Tailings Review proposes a new international standard for tailings dams based upon the consequences of failure.

The group has also formally asked to more than 726 extractive companies around the world to disclose their tailings storage facilities, to create a mining activity database: the Global Tailings Portal, soon available to the public. This portal contains information that has a level of disclosure without precedence in the industry. It will enable more accurate analysis on the potential consequence associated to the collapse of these structures.

Global Tailings Standard public consultation

The Global Tailings Review is a project led by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The Global Tailings Review aims to stablish an international standard that improves the safe and secure management of mine tailings facilities.

The Standard compels stakeholders to implement best practices in the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, monitoring, and closure of tailings facilities. The Global Tailings Review has considered the technical aspects of tailings storage facilities, and has recently launched a public consultation to enrich the draft.

The consultation aims to collect feedback from professionals, public authorities, local communities and investors. By reaching out to many experts and communities as possible, the Review intends to produce a robust and credible standard that will be taken up by the industry as broadly and quickly as possible.

The standard draft is available in our Resources page. To participate in the consultation, visit www.globaltailingsreview.org and complete the questionnaire. The consultations is available in many languages and it will be open until the 31 December 2019. The final standard will be published early in 2020.

This is an important step towards preventing catastrophic failures of tailings dam and improving the life of vulnerable communities. Once tailings facilities moved from concept to reality, they become a hazard that must be managed accordingly. The Global Tailings Review calls for innovation within the industry and the application of new technologies to minimise the risk of failure of tailings storage facilities.