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Tailings safety management under the Global Industry Standard

24 January 2022
Tailings safety management under the Global Industry Standard

The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) was launched in August 2020. It was developed under the guidance of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Polyus was very active in developing the Standard, and the Company established a working group consisting of hydraulic structure safety experts, engineers, lawyers and environmentalists. Their comments on tailings management were incorporated into the GISTM.

The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management aims to minimize potential damage and enhance tailings safety as a priority throughout the lifecycle of the mine tailings facility. Compliance with the GISTM does not displace the requirements of any national, state or local government statutes, laws, regulations, ordinances, or other government directives.

In order to introduce the Standard and ensure compliance with Principle 15 therein, which sets out the approach to public disclosure and providing access to information on mine tailing facilities to stakeholders, Polyus has published a special report on the safety of tailings storage facilities.

This is the first detailed report produced by a Russian company issued in line with the Global Standard. In addition to Russian legislation and the common rules of tailings management, it describes the monitoring and controlling tools, risk assessment and management concepts employed by Polyus as well as its emergence response plans. Polyus disclosed technical safety parameters and the potential impact on the environment and communities for all its designed and existing tailings facilities. It is important to note that the area that may be potentially affected by Polyus’ existing tailings storage facilities does not contain any settlements. Therefore, there is no risk of significant impact on residential health or the social infrastructure.

The style of the report is quite simple to ensure transparency and to make it easy for the stakeholders to understand the disclosed information. The report was also translated into English.

Polyus regularly discloses information on tailings management in the Company’s annual and sustainability reports. The previous special report Focus on Safety of Tailings Storage Facilities was published in June 2019.