Mining Companies Urged to Comply with Tailings Safety Initiative Post-Brumadinho Disaster

Summary

  • In August 2020, The Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative began following the disaster in Brumadinho, Brazil, that resulted in 270 fatalities due to a tailings dam collapse.
  • Considered a stricter code of conduct, already 77 globally recognized mining corporations, led by giants BHP and Rio Tinto, have enlisted.
  • The initiative is targeting several firms like China’s Zijin Mining Group, Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden, Grupo Mexico and Southern Copper for non-conformance.
  • The Church of England Pensions Board, a significant member of this Initiative, will oppose any organizations that fail to adhere to the standards in forthcoming annual meetings.
  • The global public registry now comprises over 14,000 operational and legacy tailing dam facilities across 77 nations.

Tailings Dam Safety Initiative

A safety Initiative for mining and tailings was initiated in 2020, in the aftermath of the horrific Brumadinho catastrophe in Brazil where 270 citizens died following the failure of a tailings dam. Up to this point, the code of conduct has witnessed 77 mining corporations, including industry behemoths such as BHP and Rio Tinto, signing up.

Tailings Dams Overview

Tailings dams serve as barricades built near mines for the storage of waste in either liquid or solid states.”

Non-performing Companies

The Initiative has singled out non-compliant firms, which include China’s Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd, known for its global mining interests and previous tailings dams issues, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned miner Ma’aden, Grupo Mexico and it’s subsidiary Southern Copper Corporation.

The Perspective of the Church of England Pensions Board

Matthews, Chief Responsible Investment Officer for the Church of England Pensions Board and a member of the investor group, stated that the board plans to vote against any non-compliant companies in the upcoming annual meetings. He also hinted that other Initiative members might follow suit yet their voting decision rests at their discretion.

Deadline and Global Registry

The Initiative looks forward to compliance from lagging corporations within the following year, seeking transparency on their enforcement of the standard. The global public registry currently lists more than 14,000 active and legacy tailing dam facilities spread across 77 countries.

Reflection on Trading

The potential impact of this safety initiative may influence the stocks of the aforementioned mining companies, potentially causing a ripple effect in the forex market, depending on the magnitude of the targeted corporations.

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