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SHARE supports Church of England investor initiative on mine tailings 

As annual meeting season is about to start in earnest, SHARE is recommending withholding support for the Board Chairs at mining companies that do not commit to review the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management with a view to implementing it.

This follows a Church of England Pension Board announcement earlier this year that it will oppose the re-election of Chairs of mining companies that fail to undertake such a review.

“Commitment to the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management is an essential step to ensuring the safe management of tailings dams and to avoid future disasters. Starting in 2022, the Church of England will vote against board chairs at relevant companies that have not indicated to either implement the Standard or assess its implications for their operations. We greatly welcome the leadership and action being taken by SHARE on this crucial issue.” – Adam Matthews, Church of England Pension Board Chief Responsible Investment Office.

Among the non-responding Canadian-traded miners listed by the Church of England Pension Board are Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., Wheaton Precious Metals Corp., Lundin Gold Inc., Imperial Metals Corp., and Northern Dynasty Minerals. Imperial Metals Corp. operates the Mount Polley Mine, where a tailings dam failure led to the release of an estimated 24 million cubic metres of mine waste into salmon bearing waterways in 2014.

A full list of mining company responses to the Standard can be found here.

Spearheaded by the Church of England Pensions Board and the Swedish Council on Ethics, the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management was created in the wake of the fatal tailings dam failure at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in Brazil in January 2019.

The voting policy is being implemented by Groupe Investissement Responsible for institutions using the SHARE Proxy Voting Guidelines.

For more information about this issue and SHARE’s Religious Investor Network, please visit our Initiative page, or contact Peter Chapman, Senior Advisor at [email protected].

Featured image c/o Barsamuphe via Wikimedia Commons.

Peter Chapman
Written By:

Peter Chapman

Peter Chapman joined SHARE in 2000 as Executive Director, and served in that position until 2018. Peter advises SHARE on trustee education, investment policy and proxy voting, focusing on how institutional investors can implement investment policies that consider systemic risks and mission alignment.

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