February 19, 2019 / 7:08 AM / a month ago

BHP calls for international body to oversee tailings dams

MELBOURNE, Feb 19 (Reuters) - BHP Group called for the creation of an independent international body to oversee the construction, integrity and operations of tailings dams, which hold mining waste, after the second collapse of a dam in Brazil in the past three years.

“As an industry, we now have to redouble our efforts to make sure events like this simply cannot happen,” BHP Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie told reporters on Tuesday on a conference call after the company reported half-year results.

Mackenzie said it was too early to say what impact the recent Vale tailings dam disaster in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho would have on efforts to restart BHP and Vale’s jointly owned Samarco operation, shut since November 2015 after a dam collapse killed 19 people.

Reporting by Melanie Burton and Sonali Paul; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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