Rio Tinto has today (12 June 2019) disclosed additional information in relation to its global tailings facilities.
The firm’s move comes a week after Glencore made a similar disclosure, and follows on from the fatal tailings dam collapse at Vale’s Brumadinho mine in January.
Rio Tinto said its latest disclosure builds on detailed information provided on each of its global tailings facilities on 20 February 2019, when Rio Tinto also published its Group Procedure and its Standard for ‘Management of tailings and water storage facilities’, which was introduced in August 2015.
“In line with the company’s commitment to disclose further detail over time, Rio Tinto has now provided additional information about the construction, management and monitoring of facilities, including independent reviews,” the company explained.
Rio Tinto explained that all its managed facilities are subject to three levels of governance and assurance:
“All Rio Tinto managed facilities, whether active or inactive, have an external engineer of record or design engineer,” the firm said.
“In order to align with guidance from the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM), some of the information previously disclosed has been updated. This includes limiting the status classifications of facilities to ‘active’, ‘inactive’ or ‘closed’, and ensuring the construction method specified describes the most recent type of embankment raise on the facility.
“In addition, following a comprehensive review of Rio Tinto’s global operations by the company’s technical teams, some facilities have been reclassified resulting in some tailings facilities being added to the list and others being removed.
“All facilities have been given a hazard classification in accordance with the regulatory or industry body that oversees tailings in each region or jurisdiction.
“Hazard classifications are not a judgment on the condition of a facility or the likelihood of failure but on the potential consequence if there were to be a failure.”
Details of Rio Tinto tailings and water storage facilities are available here.