BHP forms tailings taskforce
BHP has unveiled its new ‘Tailings Taskforce’ in the wake of the dam disasters in Brazil.
BHP says the 2015 Mariana dam disaster, which killed 19 people and displaced thousands more, has “further strengthened [its] resolve” to focus on the risk management of tailings.
The company is facing legal action around the world, with the possibility of some truly enormous compensation payouts.
The taskforce is designed to improve and assure the operations of tailings storage facilities, as well as working on technological efforts and new tailings management standards.
This includes more spending on tailing research and development to improve early detection methods and monitoring.
BHP says it is setting up a digital model for real-time prediction of dam health, using a geomatics satellite to sense dam movement for early warning.
The taskforce has been set up following BHP’s own 2016 dam risk review after the failure of the Fundao dam at Samarco.
The review reportedly highlighted the shifting nature of tailings dams and need for ongoing monitoring.