MiningWatch in the News

Tailings dams must get community consent, ensure zero harm - report

Source: 
Reuters

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru and editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Reuters

Members of a rescue team search for victims of a collapsed tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA in a vehicle on Paraopeba River, in Brumadinho

Members of a rescue team search for victims of a collapsed tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA in a vehicle on Paraopeba River, in Brumadinho, Brazil February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

June 1 (Reuters) - Mining companies should get consent from the indigenous peoples and affected communities over the life of a mine for both proposed and existing waste storage facilities, or tailings dams, a coalition of environmental groups recommended in a report published on Tuesday.

Environmental nonprofits Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada, which wrote the Safety First report along with other groups, said they hope the recommendations would be adopted by mine tailings management for public and environmental safety.

Tailings dams, which are embankments constructed near mines to store mining waste, can be dozens of meters high and stretch for several kilometers.

They are the most common waste-disposal method for miners, but can be dangerous depending on the construction method and a host of other factors.

A tailings dam in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho collapsed in 2019, killing more than 250 people in one of the world’s worst mining disasters.

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