New Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management

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), has officially launched the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management.

This document is the first international standard on the operation of tailings facilities. It has the main objective of “zero harm to people and the environment with zero tolerance for human fatality” throughout the complete lifecycle of these structures. The Standard provides a framework for creating safe tailings facilities while leaving some room to operators on how to achieve it.

The framework sets out a series of principles and requirements for the managing of tailings facilities considering the following aspects:

  1. Affected Communities
  2. Integrated Knowledge Base
  3. Design, Construction, Operation and Monitoring of the Tailings Facility
  4. Management and Governance
  5. Emergency Response and Long-Term Recovery
  6. Public Disclosure and Access to Information

The Global Standard for Tailings Management was developed by the Global Tailings Review and undertook a public consultation where it collected feedback from professionals, public authorities, local communities and investors. The final document can be downloaded from our Resources page.

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.