Tailings dam ruptures still happen even with industry standards, say critics

Northern Ontario Business

Two years after the international mining industry convened to set on standards how to prevent catastrophic failures of tailings dams, critics contend these collapses are still happening.

In their document, Safety First: Guidelines for Responsible Mine Tailing Management, MiningWatch Canada and Earthworks have released an updated set of guidelines and recommendations, from their initial recommendations from 2020, for improving the management of mining waste disposal facilities, known as tailings dams.

While the big mining companies made a commitment in 2020 to follow their Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, the MiningWatch Canada and Earthworks said in a news release it’s “unclear what progress has been made.” 

Tailings dam continue to fail or pose a substantial risk. Since November 2021, the groups record at least 10 tailings failures, leaks or overflows, resulting in deaths, contaminated rivers and ecosystems, with heavy remediation costs for the mining companies.

Read the full article in Northern Ontario Business.