ICMM members vow to create international standard for tailings dams

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) will develop a new international standard for tailing facilities, in the wake of the fatal dam burst at a mine in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho last month.

CEO’s from ICMM’s 27 member companies met in Miami earlier this week to discuss the creation of a new standard for tailings dams that will be informed by a review of current global best practices in the mining industry, and beyond.

ICMM expects the standard to create a step change for the mining industry, after it was rocked by a second fatal dam burst in under four years, both of which occurred at a Vale mine sites in Brazil.

The standard will be further defined through the review process but is expected to include: A global and transparent consequence-based tailings facility classification system, a system for credible, independent reviews of tailings facilities and requirements for emergency planning.

Tom Butler, ICMM’s chief executive officer, said: “While the standard would become a member commitment, ICMM will encourage others to join us in advocating for it to be adopted more broadly.”

The organisation will engage with representatives from civil society, communities, industry, investors, and multilateral bodies, to determine the detailed scope of the review.