Stockholm (NordSIP) – The International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), will join forces to convene an independent review to establish an international standard on tailings storage facilities, according to a joint press release.
This joint initiative is being convened as a reaction to the recent tragedy in Vale’s mining operations in Brumadinho earlier in the year. The review will take stock of the evidence and lessons from earlier mine tailings dam failures and hopes to be concluded by the end of the year.
The new standard to become an ICMM company member commitment. The hope is that co-convening partners will encourage others to join in advocating for it to be accepted more broadly, who may find Vale’s experience a motivation. In the aftermath of the accident, the stock of the Brazilian mining giant lost 24% of its value (from US$ 14.68 to US$ 13.02), of which only about half had been recovered by the end of the first quarter (US$ 13). At its latest count, the disaster had caused the death of 206 people while another 102 people were still considered missing.
The Church of England Pensions Board and the Swedish Council on Ethics on behalf of the Swedish national pension funds have agreed represent the PRI. John Howchin,Secretary-General of the Council on Ethics Swedish National Pension Funds, and Adam Matthews, Co-Chair of Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), Director of Ethics & Engagement at the Church of England Pensions Board will represent both investors.
As a next step the co-convenors will jointly appoint an independent chair and a multi-stakeholder advisory panel. There will be a further update once the chair has been appointed.