Brumadinho community advocate delivers powerful tailings address

2 August 2022

On Friday 29 July, Brumadinho justice campaigner Angélica Amanda da Silva Andrade delivered an unwearied address at The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) to talk about the social cost of tailings management.

Angélica’s sister Natalia was one of more than 270 killed in the tailings dam disaster at the Vale Mining Company Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in January 2019.

“It was an honour to have Angélica speak to us about her experiences, and learn about her campaign for justice in Brumadinho,” SMI Professor Deanna Kemp said.

Angélica took up an international fight for justice to repair the harm perpetrated by Vale S.A. in Brumadinho and to prevent further catastrophic events.

The next steps, Angélica says, are for “Brumadinho and Mariana   to see correction for the terrible reparation measures that have been implemented so far – so that the victims and affected people can have the dignity that is deserved in face of all the preventable trauma and loss we have faced”. Angélica says she also wants to see “criminal actions punished accordingly to set an example to the industry”.

Dr Kemp described Angélica’s story as “very powerful, very personal and deeply disturbing. Angélica’s burden is one that should not be borne by anyone.”

After the Brumadinho tragedy, Dr Kemp herself was involved in co-drafting the new global standard, which is now called the ‘Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management’ (GISTM).

“Angélica’s voice reminded us how important it was to ensure that social performance and community rights were a prominent feature of the GISTM.” said Dr Kemp,

“From the time I’ve spent with Deanna since I arrived here, I know that this is the type of partnership we need in this new era of the mining sector: communities, social scientists, and engineers working together,” Angélica said.

In her presentation at UQ, Angélica aimed to help researchers to understand the failure in Brumadinho and its aftermath through her eyes, and to take these insights as motivation to drive industry change.

Angélica says that her hope is in the many “people, institutions, organizations and companies that want to do things correctly, and that are putting an effort into implementing the standard due to its importance for more safety in the industry and to avoid more catastrophic failures in the future”.

Dr Kemp echoed Angélica’s message and said that it was “important for SMI to engage with community advocates to understand the harms that can be caused by irresponsible mining practices”.

The Queensland Tailings Group, in collaboration with Rio Tinto and UQ-SMI, supported Angélica to speak in Brisbane on The Social Cost of Tailings Management.

For more information:

Professor Deanna Kemp (
Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining
Sustainable Minerals Institute