Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-Global mining panel looks to boost accountability after Brazil disaster

Reuters | Updated: 12-09-2019 05:48 IST | Created: 12-09-2019 05:46 IST
UPDATE 1-Global mining panel looks to boost accountability after Brazil disaster
Image Credit: Flickr

New safety standards being drawn up by a global mining industry panel will include rules to better define management accountability after Vale SA's January tailings dam disaster, a top industry official said on Wednesday. The governance standards would help ensure independent reviews of dams and adequate disclosure of risks, said Tom Butler, president of the International Council on Mining and Metals.

"The engineers know what they're doing with these things but the implementation and the management and the change management, that all involves humans," Butler told Reuters in an interview in Brazil. "Therefore it involves governance and that's where there's potential for things to go wrong if the governance is weak or the right hand is not talking to the left."

A draft version "is almost ready to go out" and is expected by late September or early October, Butler had earlier told a mining conference in Belo Horizonte, about 20 miles (30 km) from the site of January's disaster. The dam rupture in the town of Brumadinho killed nearly 250 people, sparking a push to establish global rules for building and inspection of such facilities, which contain the muddy detritus from mining iron ore, gold, copper and other minerals.

That collapse came less than four years after another at a joint venture of Vale and BHP Group, which are both Council members, Butler said. An inquiry showed one factor behind the collapse was a loss of know-how over the structure's lifespan of more than 40 years, he added.

"You've got to make sure you transfer that knowledge and I think the industry recognizes that's a critical part of it we haven't been getting right," Butler said. While the cause of the Brumadinho disaster is still under review, some experts have suggested governance failings at the miner are partly to blame. In February, Vale's chief financial officer said senior executives had never been shown internal security documents indicating the dam was at risk of collapse.

The ICMM represents about a third of the mining industry but Butler said the standards, being drawn up by a panel of eight members with expertise on tailings, health, risk and law, could influence the wider sector. A public consultation period will follow the release of the draft, with the new standards likely to be finalized and disseminated in the first quarter of 2020, he said.

Panel members visited Brazil in July and more recently, British Colombia, the site of a 2014 breach at Imperial Metals Corp's Mount Polley Mine, which sent billions of gallons of wastewater and sludge into waterways.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Videos

Latest News

Jamia entrance exam date announced

Jamia Millia Islamia JMI announced on Sunday that entrance tests for admission to 126 undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes will commence from October 10. In normal situation, around 12,000 students could be accommodated for en...

Behanan announces resignation as UDF convenor

Senior Congress leader Benny Behanan on Sunday announced his decision to quit the post of convenor of the Congress-led UDF in the state, saying he was pained by media reports aimed at creating controversy over the position. Behanan said he ...

Militant killed in encounter in J-K's Pulwama

An unidentified militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmirs Pulwama district on Sunday, police said. Acting on specific information about the presence of militants in the Samboora area of Awantipora in the...

Tennis-French Open gets off to chilly and damp start

Gone are the queues of spectators and gone is the sun as the French Open kicked off in underwhelming fashion on Sunday with persistent drizzle and a chill wind sweeping the almost-empty Roland Garros grounds. Play started at 1100 local time...

Give Feedback