This month, the first global standard to prevent mining catastrophes was released, following the tragic collapse of a tailings dam in Brazil last year which killed 270 people.

People living near or downstream from a mine deserve to know they’ll be safe. While the standard requires mining operators to act transparently, it’s being rolled out without independent oversight. And it’s not clear how communities – many of them vulnerable – will be supported to understand mining projects and their implications.

The standard comes at a time when public visibility of the mining industry is at a low. The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted movement globally, making it harder for outside experts, journalists, investors and regulators to monitor what’s happening on the ground.

Tailings dams are among the largest human-made structures on the planet. Their collapse has become more frequent in recent years, and Australia is not immune. Independent oversight is necessary to hold mining companies to account.

Language: English

Publisher: The Conversation

Region: Global

Type: Article

CITATION

Kemp, D., Owen, J. and Bainton, N, (2020). World-first mining standard must protect people and hold powerful companies to account. The Conversation.

Available at: https://csrm.uq.edu.au/publications/world-first-mining-standard-must-protect-people-and-hold-powerful-companies-to-account

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World-first mining standard must protect people and hold powerful companies to account