The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has joined some other big fund managers and the Church of England in calling for independent safety monitoring of tailings dams, following a deadly spill at an iron-ore mine in Brazil that has left at least 120 dead.
The collapse of the dam on January 25 is likely the worst mining disaster in Brazilian history.
The dam was reportedly an embankment used to store by-products of iron ore mining operations, and its collapse resulted in mudslides which engulfed local communities.
The human toll was accompanied by potential contamination from the red iron ore waste which swept across the countryside.
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The Mina Feijão operation in Brumadinho is owned by Brazil's largest mining company, Vale.
Dutch pension giant APG, the UK's LGPS Central and New Zealand Super, are among several asset managers backing the Church of England's proposal for a new independent classification system for safety risk of mining companies. They also call for annual audits of all tailings dams, as well as verification that the highest corresponding safety standards were being implemented.
"Simply put these failures of tailing dams should not be happening," Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement for the Church of England Pensions Board, told the Financial Times.
"These are not black swan events. An independent classification system will ensure that communities, workers and investors know the safety standards of tailings dams are in place and if they are being applied. This proposal will drive a new level of accountability and transparency within the mining sector."
The group is planning to convene a meeting of international industry experts and major investors in the sector. This will take place in London, chaired by David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham.
New Zealand's Super Fund, which has been named as one of the world's top 25 most responsible asset allocators, has also recently been involved in efforts to stamp out slavery, human trafficking and the use of child labour, globally.