Dr Oberle shares scope and next steps of Global Tailings Review

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London, 10 June 2019: Dr Bruno Oberle, Chair of the Global Tailings Review today announced the scope of the review and the next steps including his intention to visit local communities living near tailings storage facilities.


The review will be divided into three phases. The first, a research phase, includes engagement with communities living and working near tailings storage facilities and will evaluate current best practices from the mining sector and other industries. This research will inform drafts of the international tailings standard and a related report which will be published at the end of the summer.


The second phase will centre around a broad consultation on these draft documents. It is expected that there will be regional meetings and an online consultation in order to canvas as many views as possible.

In the final phase, Dr Oberle will consider the consultation responses and develop an international standard for tailings storage facilities and a report by the end of 2019. The report will outline broader recommendations to support uptake and implementation of the standard. The standard and report will be published in early 2020.

Over the next two months, Dr Oberle will visit tailings storage sites around the world, collecting feedback from a wide range of groups, including local communities and workers. This week, Dr. Oberle will travel to Brazil to meet people affected by the recent tragedy at Brumadinho, where a tailings dam failure resulted in 243 fatalities with 25 people still missing, and by the 2015 Samarco incident that caused 19 deaths and widespread environmental destruction.

Dr Oberle also announced the detailed scope of the Global Tailings Review which will be published on the review’s website at globaltailingsreview.org on Monday 10 June.  

Implementation of the new international standard will be mandatory for all ICMM company members, and the co-convenors of the review will also work to encourage non-ICMM members to implement the standard.

Dr Bruno Oberle, Chair of the Global Tailings Review said: “Engaging with people from civil society, academia, business and multilateral institutions has helped me to set out an ambitious work plan for the independent Global Tailings Review. I feel that it is important that I witness the impact of the tragedy at Brumadinho and listen to affected communities. I will be doing this as my first priority.

“After this, I will prepare a draft report and standard which will be published by the end of the summer. There will be widespread consultation on these draft findings in September and October. The responses from this will inform and strengthen the final standard and report before their publication early next year.”



Note for editors

Detailed scope of the review

Classification of tailings storage facilities (TSFs):

Independent review of TSFs:

Behavioural, cultural, and structural factors:


The Global Tailings Review has its own website at www.globaltailingsreview.org which will be live on Monday 10 June.


The co-convenors of the review are:

Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group

Dr Oberle will be supported by a multi-stakeholder advisory group which is made up of representatives of the following organisations:

Columbia Water Center

International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Teck Resources

International Finance Corporation Earthworks

Klohn Crippin Berger

UN Economic Commission for Africa


Mining Association of Canada

University of Sydney / GRID Arendal

International Cyanide Management Institute

Munich Re

White & Case


World Bank

About Dr Bruno Oberle

Dr Oberle is Chair for Green Economy and Resource Governance and Academic Director of the International Risk Governance Center at L'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, a panel member of the International Resource Panel and a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He was previously the Swiss Secretary of State for the Environment and Director of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. Dr Oberle will oversee every aspect of the review.

Media contact:

International Council on Mining and Metals
Mike Eames                                       
+44 (0)7881 316 724