ICMM review of the management of tailings dams

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ICMM and its members are committed to driving safety and environmental improvements through the mining industry. After the tragic failure of the Samarco tailings dam, ICMM consulted with its member companies to determine how best to minimise the risk of a recurrence of such a catastrophic dam failure.

ICMM commissioned a review by recognised tailings specialists supported by an expert panel and drawing on the technical expertise of ICMM’s member companies and associations. The review appointed Golder Associates to report on surface tailings management guidance across the ICMM membership.

The review acknowledges the conclusions of the Golder report and agrees that an increased emphasis on governance is needed to ensure that the extensive existing technical and management guidance is more effectively applied.

In response ICMM has issued a new position statement that commits members to minimise the risk of catastrophic failures of tailings dams.

ICMM’s Tailings Governance Framework is embedded in a binding CEO-led position statement. Its purpose is to enable enhanced focus on those key elements of management and governance necessary to prevent catastrophic failures of tailings storage facilities. It also commits members to the continuous improvement in the design, construction, and operation of tailings storage facilities.