Mercy Investment Services’ advocacy on mining issues took on new urgency two years ago when a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, burst, killing more than 270 people and devastating the environment and community. Since, Mercy Investment Services has used its shareholder voice to advocate for the communities impacted by these slurry-filled lakes that unleash pollution, death and destruction when they burst. Angelica, whose sister died in the Brumadinho breach, recently wrote to shareholders saying, “The pain of the families who haven’t had a funeral for their loved ones, lost in the toxic waste hasn’t gone away. The feelings of impunity and hopelessness are still very much alive. Our community hasn’t been mended, wounds are still open in many hearts….”
The Brumadinho disaster prompted shareholders to encourage the development of a new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, published in 2020, setting a high bar for the industry. Investors contacted almost 700 companies, and more than 100 have entered data into the Global Tailings Portal. Despite these efforts, much work remains. Shareholders are developing a new general mining standard, similar to the tailings standard; and studying the feasibility of a global 24/7 tailings monitoring hub. Mercy Investment Services brings community concerns and these ongoing shareholder efforts to the mining companies we engage.