Huge Mining Waste Dams Could Prove Deadly

A group of investors has released findings from its inquiry into how mining companies around the world store their waste.

Companies store billions of tons of waste in huge dams called “tailings dams.” The inquiry found that this storage method has led to stability issues for a tenth of the structures, the investors said. The inquiry was a joint project of the Church of England and investment fund managers.

The dams are some of the largest structures in the world. They can be many meters deep and several kilometers wide. The refuse from mines can be made of liquid, solid materials or small particles. It is usually poisonous.
The Vale dam collapse

The worldwide inquiry was launched after a tailings dam in Brazil collapsed in January 2019, killing hundreds of people in the town of Brumadinho. That dam belonged to Vale S.A., a Brazilian company that mines metals, minerals and chemicals.

In April 2019, the investors asked mining companies to provide details about their tailings dams.

The inquiry found that at least 166 dams worldwide have had stability issues in the past. But fewer than half of the companies contacted responded, leaving an incomplete picture of the safety and disaster risks.

Most Chinese and Indian companies contacted did not provide information.

“…We have seen the catastrophic consequences earlier this year in Brazil when [tailings dams] collapse,” said Adam Matthews. He is a member of the Church of England’s Pensions Board.

Matthews noted that many companies already operate at a high standard. But many other companies do not and “dams are continuing to fail, putting lives and the environment at risk,” he added.

No industry standards

A tailings dam is the most common waste disposal method for a mining company, whether it is mining iron ore, gold or copper. Yet there are no established standards, or rules, defining what a tailings dam is, how to build one and how to care for a dam when it is no longer in use.

The major investors warned they might sell their shares in the mining companies unless they got clear information on possible risks. What happened in Brazil has led to one of the largest shareholder pushes in reaction to a single disaster.

The Church of England and some other investors sold their Vale stock shares after the Brumadinho dam collapse. The company lost 25 percent of its market value right after the disaster.

Do the right thing

The Reuters news agency reports that, of the 726 mining businesses contacted during the inquiry, 43 percent responded. All the major companies, including Vale, were among those providing information, the investors said.

The information provided shows that tailings dams around the world hold more than 44 billion square meters of waste. They also show that 166 of the 1,635 dams have had stability issues, although it is unclear how bad those issues had been. And the companies reported that the problems had been resolved, the inquiry said.

The investors said they hope to finish a database of dam risks by late January 2020 and to create worldwide safety standards. Many dams will have to be forcibly closed, they told Reuters.

India and China

While North and South America are home to most of the world’s tailings dams, India and China also store huge amounts of waste in such dams. That includes the Weikuang dam in northern China, which is about 11 kilometers wide.

The Weikuang dam is owned by Baotou Iron & Steel Group. That company did not answer the investors’ request for information or a Reuters request for comment.

Coal India Ltd. and Metallurgical Corporation Of China Ltd. are two of the world’s largest coal mining operations. The two said they did not know about the inquiry and never received the request. Both companies are controlled by their governments.

The Church of England said it hopes to work with Chinese and Indian companies over time to put together a truly complete database.

I’m John Russell. And I’m Alice Bryant.
The Reuters news agency reported this story. Alice Bryant adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


  • Darren

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    I can\'t get a dialling tone levitra coupon Wang\'s plight was a reminder that China\'s embrace of capitalism and rise to global economic eminence has not softened the party\'s intolerance of domestic dissent nor eased its suspicions about civil society.\n levitra 20 A gate normally used to let regional police into ringside positions was pushed wide open by a flood of runners, causing an obstruction for others trying to enter the main arena, Interior Ministry regional spokesman Javier Morras said.\n pof login EFH on Monday paid roughly $60 million to second-lienbondholders on its unregulated side, the people said. Companiesclose to bankruptcy often miss bond payments. This payment - adrop in the bucket for the enormous EFH - was expected, thepeople said.\n xnxx asia \"But they have all served that same unforgiving creed, that same unforgiving regime, that creed that is espoused and enforced by the real power in Iran, the dictator known as the supreme leader, first Ayatollah (Ruholla) Khomeini and now Ayatollah (Ali) Khamenei,\" he said.\n www.cliphunter One of the grimmest of my many grim memories was seeing the bloated bleached bodies of dead Rwandans bobbing in the river as we crossed a bridge in Rwanda after that slaughter. No one helped. The world cannot stop all of it, but it should try when they can. Man is too cruel to let go unchecked.\n

  • Moses

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    What\'s the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? xnxx india The researchers believe that eating patterns are an important \"early life risk factor associated with obesity\" and getting into a daily eating routine and offset other factors, even genetic ones.\n generic vardenafil Adams declined to identify the members, but said some were wooed by \"a combination of listening to constituents at town halls and the continued leaks of information that undermines the argument that Congress has effective oversight.\"\n xnxx porno \"There are people who have not forgiven Prince Charles for his relationship with Princess Diana but the relationship between William and Kate is unclouded and uncomplicated. It promotes continuity,\" Orr told Reuters.\n vardenafil\r Opinions differ on just how much oil and gas Italy issitting on but excitement over a gas bonanza in the EasternMediterranean and the billions of dollars in revenues Cyprus andIsrael could generate has kindled interest in Italian waters.\n xnxxx barat Dodd-Frank charged the FDIC, the Fed, the Securities andExchange Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, theOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Department ofHousing and Urban Development with crafting the rules.\n

  • Irving

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    I\'d like to withdraw $100, please xnxx. com Investigators initially suspected the massive serpent broke free from a tank inside the exotic pet store, but Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Alain Tremblay said Wednesday that the snake was being kept inside the apartment when it broke loose.\n xhamster xxx\r The leak, one of four on the sprawling project site, sprung up from an oil sands reserve produced by a process that melts bitumen with high-pressure steam so that it can be moved and processed. The leak has yet to be stopped, and has become the latest focus for environmentalists concerned about the impact oil sands production.\n spank wire Hurricane Ingrid, a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), was drenching Tamaulipasand Veracruz states on the Gulf coast, with thousands of people seeking emergency shelters as river levels rose.\n xnxx asia Not even a year after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the Jersey Shore, disaster struck again as a raging fire fueled by powerful 30 mph winds blazed through the famed Seaside Park boardwalk on Se...\n levitra Johnson has not triumphed on the PGA Tour since he clinched his ninth career title at the TPC Deere Run 12 months ago, but was delighted to be producing much improved form since making an erratic start to this season.\n

  • Genesis

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    How long are you planning to stay here? steamate \"This is a shared river and the dam will bring devastationto Laos\' neighbours ... they should demand that Laos undergo theconsultation process,\" Ame Trandem, Southeast Asia ProgramDirector for International Rivers, said in an interview.\n xxx At PwC we recognise that we need to be braver about challenging our own business about why there aren’t more women looking to come through to partnership. There needs to be strong and accountable action at all levels if we are to see real change. There is no point having a strong tone from the top on the importance of this issue, if this isn’t feeding down to all levels of the business.\n xnxx download The day\'s drawn-out theme certainly applied to Blake, who was near the end of the third day of a planned retirement he announced on Monday. He didn\'t strike a ball until 8:40 p.m., because what was supposed to have been a 1 p.m. Venus Williams match in Louis Armstrong Stadium still was being played out.\n porno 300 While Bashir\'s cynical calculation may have seemed an exaggerated Northern pipe dream four years ago, it may now be coming true given rising tribal tensions and violence in the South. Up to this point the Southern leaders had wisely used persuasion and negotiation, instead of political intrigue or repression, to address the grievances of regions and tribes in the South dissatisfied with the status quo. That is now changing. The tribal intrigue around the selection of the new ruling party chairman in South Sudan and Juba\'s military campaign against the Murle tribe is evidence of the unraveling of the balance of power among ethnic groups in the south.\n sunny leone xnxx The latest talks prompted Obama to put on hold his plans forU.S. air strikes in response to the chemical weapons attack.Obama is now also spared facing a vote in Congress on militaryaction that he had appeared increasingly likely to lose at thisstage.\n

  • Hunter

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    I\'d like to open an account wwwxxx When asked whether anything from a traditional code of conduct should be considered sacred, he said: “Anything that is distracting should be an absolute no-no. So anything potentially off-putting, such as taking photographs during a Shakespearian soliloquy, is unacceptable in my opinion.”\n xnxx com He departed to the strains of Michael Jackson\'s \"Wanna Be Startin\' Somethin\',\" the song played at Microsoft\'s first employee meeting in 1983, followed by \"(I\'ve Had) The Time of My Life\" from the finale of \"Dirty Dancing,\" getting a standing ovation from the 13,000 or so Microsoft full-time employees in attendance.\n xxx video hd She added that \"Galbraith\" planned to keep writing the series, and her publisher said that the second book is expected to be published next summer. Now that her identity is revealed, Little, Brown said \"The Cuckoo\'s Calling\" will be reprinted with a revised author biography.\n xnxxcom \"The debt ratio will move onto a downward path from nextyear onwards - to 120 percent at end-2014, 118.4 percent atend-2015 and 114.6 percent at the end of 2016. This downwardmomentum will further enhance market confidence in Ireland.\"\n xnxx japan At this point you expect a team to turn to the next cab in line. Except gone are the days when Australia had batsmen of the quality of Michael Bevan and Stuart Law waiting patiently on the rank for a chance.\n

  • Hershel

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    It\'s OK porno xxx Japanese firms have spent $27 billion in buying foreigncompanies so far in 2013, compared to a record $83 billion forall of 2012, with some bankers and executives attributing theslowdown to the reversal in yen strength. The Japanese currencywas trading around 98 to the dollar on Thursday, comparedwith around 76 yen in November last year.\n xxx video hindi If you\'re expecting a child, ask your county or state about baby grants or if there is a plan to add them in the future. It\'s a growing trend across the country for states and counties to give money to babies to start their college savings, says Elizabeth Bordowitz, CEO of the Finance Authority of Maine, which oversees the state\'s 529 plans.\n xhamster odir Kodak Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez said that with the ruling, the company is now poised to become a leader in the commercial imaging industry, providing professional services such as commercial printing, packaging and film for motion pictures.\n site xnxx BEIJING — Chinese authorities have further tightened controls of social media in the country, warning that people who post comments deemed libelous and that are retweeted 500 or more times will face defamation charges and up to three years in prison.\n The Z10 is the first phone to run RIM\'s new BlackBerry 10 operating system and comes across as a very good stab at regaining at least some of the cachet of the BlackBerry. But the Z10 looks like every other smartphone on the shelf. It\'s a flat black slab with a touch screen, measuring 10.5cm. Only once you turn it on do the differences become more evident. Older BlackBerrys are great communications devices, but are poor at multimedia and at running third-party apps, something the iPhone excels at. The new BlackBerry 10 software is a serious attempt at marrying these two feature sets.\n

  • Lucio

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    Which team do you support? beeg hot The pressure of being a ‘main eventer’ has been taken off the neophyte, with Quigg’s world title fight against Salinas commuted to this card from the cancelled heavyweight fight between David Haye and Tyson Fury.\n xnxx \"We were after the customs since two months and finally ourconsignment has been cleared. We will start processing ourorders from Monday,\" said an official with a private bullionimporting bank in Mumbai, who wished not to be named due tocompany policy.\n redtube free porn NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Global equity markets fell andthe dollar hit a 7-1/2-month low against the safe-haven Swissfranc on Friday as the prospect of a shutdown of U.S. governmentoperations next week and a possible debt default several weekslater unsettled investors.\n https // Lon Snowden said in a lengthy interview with Russian television that he still hoped to travel to Russia. His lawyer, Bruce Fein, said in the same interview that they had been in touch with Russian authorities about traveling there.\n xnxxx Some Amazon employees advance the theory that Bezos, like Jobs, Gates, and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, lacks empathy. As a result, he treats workers as expendable resources without taking into account their contributions. That in turn allows him to coldly allocate capital and manpower and make hyperrational business decisions, where another executive might let emotion and personal relationships figure into the equation.\n

  • Refugio

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    Insufficient funds vardenafil Meanwhile, entries for the Mid-Antrim 150 road races on Saturday, August 3, have been confirmed, with CD Racing’s Derek Sheils and Jamie Hamilton on the Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki plus Michael Pearson, Davy Morgan, Shaun Anderson and Derek McGee topping the line-up.\n porn With Germany reunified, it's easy to forget just how bad things were in Berlin, as families and friends were separated from each other for decades while the city was left scarred by the imposing barrier that separated east from west. In 1962, West Berlin hosted a three minute moment of silence on the one year anniversary of the wall's construction.\n xhamster Senate Republicans discussed how to deal with the amendment during their weekly lunch meeting on Tuesday. It could come to the Senate floor for a vote on Wednesday, although it was not expected to win much support.\n levitra 20mg Tax Revenues over the last 20-30 years have gone down…and spending in the wrong way has drastically gone up (2 wars, and gambling bailouts). Entitlements are supported only by the wage earners and I believe that tax cuts off at $106,000? If we simply raised income to $150m-175m of wages, we would resolve the underfunded Social Security and Medicare. (now on the other side of that, we do not monitor the enormous fraud that occurs with Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid… Homeland Security move in on that job with force)!\n Prof Nick Pidgeon, who led the UK Energy Research Centre report, said: \"The British public backs a green energy future looking into the long term, but there is an issue of distrust currently both with the energy companies and the government which may block or be a problem for realising that vision.\"\n

  • Clarence

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    Do you need a work permit? Edward Burkhardt, Rail World president and MMA chairman,said on Wednesday the engineer told him he had set 11 handbrakesbefore leaving the train for the night. \"Our general feeling nowis that is not true. Initially we took him at his word,\"Burkhardt said.\n free porn \"A majority of Republicans probably will oppose Yellen, but with every Democrat voting for her, I\'d expect her to get around 65 votes, maybe 70 (votes),\" said Greg Valliere, a political strategist with Potomac Research in Washington.\n \"I\'m a little sceptical of the appraisals that this is abig, big reform move,\" said Patrick Chovanec, managing directorand chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management in New Yorkand formerly a professor at Beijing\'s Tsinghua University.\n The government has admitted that fire crews struggled to find water, with tankers having to be used to fetch supplies. It has promised to establish the cause of the fire, which started in the arrivals and immigration area.\n beeg mom Yahoo said it earned 35 cents per share, excluding certainitems in the second quarter, compared with 30 cents in theyear-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial I/B/E/Swere looking for 30 cents in adjusted earnings per share.\n

  • Bryant

    06 November 2019, 12:20 pm

    I\'d like to withdraw $100, please www\r US Airways Group Inc. CEO Doug Parker, who would run the combined company, said in a message to employees Thursday, \"We are eager to get to court so that we can make our case and explain exactly how this merger enhances competition across the US and the globe.\"\n beeg Ofcom said satellite channel Sangat TV broadcast statements in a panel discussion programme which \"were an indirect call to members of the Sikh community to take violent action against Lt General Brar and other members of the Indian armed forces\". The show was broadcast on 30 September 2012.\n selingkuh dengan istri teman Kim Kardashian will walk down the aisle yet again, thanks to a giant diamond valued by one expert at $8 million and Kanye West’s Jumbrotron proposal Monday night at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.\n porn xnxx All these maneuvers demand a level of fitness that requires the seemingly simple act of getting started, which highlights a major health benefit: \"Anything that encourages people to work for the event, to get up in the morning and get out of bed and go strength train and run, I think that\'s a great thing,\" Kimbel says. \"When people are motivated to finish races like this, it gets them out running, it gets them out training for it and that\'s a good thing.\"\n wwwxnxx But there’s the rub. As much as A-Rod talks about playing as hard as he can, it appears he won’t even be on the field during the Toronto series, dealing with hamstring and calf issues that hobbled him in Boston.\n

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts