Voting to support the Global Tailings Standard

In December 2020, the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative wrote to the mining industry, asking over 300 companies to publicly support and adopt the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (the “Standard”).

We asked companies to:

  1. Adopt the Standard for all relevant operations;
  2. Provide a date by when they will achieve compliance in all operations.
  3. Publish this confirmation on the company website

By 8 April 2022, 45% of the mining companies contacted (65% by market capitalisation) have agreed to at least review the Standard and its applicability across their operations, while 50% have yet to respond. One company has stated that they will not implement the Standard.

Mining Association of Canada (MAC) members have been treated separately. We have asked them to confirm conformance with MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) framework, which does include tailings management, and undertake a gap analysis between its requirements and those of the Standard.

 

Category

Responses

Action

Number of companies

% of companies

% of companies by market cap

1

Implementing / intending to implement

Track date

53

21%

46.1%

2

Reviewing standard

Follow up on decision

62

24%

18.7%

3

Not implementing standard / partial implementation but deferring to MAC's TSM

Engagement focus
- confirmation of gap analysis and approach taken

4

2%

1.2%

4

Not responded (known to be MAC members)

Engagement focus
- Seek response
- Confirmation will undertake gap analysis and identify their approach

3

1%

0.1%

5

Not implementing

Voting against Chair

1

0%

0.2%

6

No formal response

Voting against Chair

128

50%

33.7%

7

Response imminent

Awaiting Company position

5

2%

0.1%

 

 

The Church of England Pensions Board has amended its proxy voting policies in 2022 to include a provision to vote against the Chair of any company if they have not committed to, at least, review the Standard with a view to implementing it.  Other investors are considering similar steps towards companies not supporting the Standard.

Please find a full list of mining company responses to the Standard here.

We will update the list regularly. If you are a company representative and feel that your company has been listed or categorised incorrectly, please contact [email protected]