Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management ("GISTM") 

The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM), an initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), was launched on August 5, 2020, becoming the first global standard in the mining sector and a global benchmark for tailings dam safety.
In October 2020, Vale's Board of Directors approved a new Dam Safety and Geotechnical Structures Policy, which includes GISTM as one of its references. Among other guidelines, the policy established that all components of our current Tailings and Dams Management System (TDMS) will be designed with elements of continuous improvement, using and applying the best available technologies and practices according to international institutions, including ICMM.
According to the public commitment, Vale will implement GISTM in its Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) on August 5, 2023, according to ICMM compliance schedule. The commitment also emphasizes that all TSFs operated by Vale with lower consequence classification will also be GISTM compliant by August 5, 2025.
Document with 6 topics comprised in 15 principles, which in turn are splitted in 77 auditable requirements. 
Establishes a global reference for tailings management, covering key areas of the entire tailings storage facility (TSF) life cycle.
¹EoR or Engineer of Record (EoR) is a qualified engineering firm responsible for certifying that the TSF has been designed, constructed and decommissioned in accordance with applicable codes and standards.

The GISTM Journey and the commitment to compliance:

GISTM 2020-2021 self-assessment and third-party verification process  (gap assessment)

The GISTM implementation processes started in September 2020 with a self-assessment with a more diagnostic focus, shortly after the launch of GISTM, with a more robust self-assessment in the tailings storage facilities (TSFs) continuing in 2021. In order to improve the quality of the processes, a Gap Assessment Service was contracted with an external company to review a sample of 10 TSFs selected to be representative of the processes and results achieved in the implementation. This work served as a reference to better define the starting point for the development of action plans to meet the requirements set out in the GISTM. 

More information about the process, its results, and the journey to GISTM requirements is available here.

GISTM self-assessment 2022-2023 and third-party verification process  (gap assessment)

In early 2022, the GISTM journey program was initiated with a strong set of action plans and controls, followed by a comprehensive self-assessment, now more mature due to the technical evolution in terms of interpretation, understanding and scope in practice of the GISTM requirements. In order to improve the quality of the processes, an external company was contracted to verify the implementation processes and the gaps identified, considering all of Vale’s TSFs. 

 For more information on the process, its results and the journey towards GISTM compliance, please visit: Executive Summary Self-Assessment 2023 - Vale.

Principle 15 of the GISTM

The GISTM has in its last principle (Principle 15) a set of 3 requirements that generally focus on public disclosure of information while maintaining communication channels and transparency based on standardized and complete database.
What does Principle 15 say?
Publicly disclose and provide access to information on tailings storage facilities to support accountability and public responsibility.

What does requirement 15.1 say?
Publish and regularly update information on the operator's commitment to the safe management of tailings facilities, the implementation of its tailings governance structure, and its policies, standards or approaches applicable to the entire organization for design, construction, monitoring and closure. 

To meet this requirement, Vale has developed two online platforms, one for its Iron Solutions (Ferrous) operations and one for its Energy Transition Metals (Base Metals) operations. These platforms are interactive tools designed to facilitate the navigation of Requirement 15.1 items for all of its Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) with GISTM in place.

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