LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) – Members of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) recorded 44 deaths in 2020, compared to 287 in 2019, when the collapse of a mining dam in Brazil killed 270 people.
Mining companies are under pressure from shareholders and governments to meet their own environmental, social, and governance standards (ESG). Some have begun tying executives’ bonuses directly to measurable ESG outcomes.
ICMM, which had 28 members in 2021 including the world’s biggest listed miners BHP and Rio Tinto , has published their safety performance since 2012 to improve internal reporting and foster a culture of openness.
“As an industry we must do better. 44 people lost their lives whilst at work in 2020 which is a stark reminder of the relentless efforts required to eliminate fatalities and achieve our goal of zero harm,” ICMM CEO Rohitesh Dhawan said.
Before 2012 there was no reliable global data on deaths in one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, where workers face a range of hazards both above and beneath the ground.
The collapse of a Vale dam in 2019, which unleashed an avalanche of mining waste on the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, pushed boardrooms to shake up the structure and skillset of their senior management to further improve controls.
South Africa had the highest number of fatalities last year, accounting for 50% of the deaths recorded by London-based ICMM.
Precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater recorded nine deaths, followed by diversified miner Glencore with eight, ICMM said.
(Reporting by Clara Denina in London; Additional reporting by Tanisha Heiberg in Johannesburg; Editing by Alexander Smith)
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