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Appendix B Disclosure of Unavoidable Conflicts of Interest The conflict-of-interest policy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (https://www. nationalacademies.org/about/institutional-policies-and-procedures/conflict-of-interest-policies-and-procedures) pro- hibits the appointment of an individual to a committee like the one that authored this Consensus Study Report if the individual has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the task to be performed. An exception to this prohibition is permitted only if the National Academies determine that the conflict is unavoidable and the conflict is promptly and publicly disclosed. When the committee that authored this report was established a determination of whether there was a conflict of interest was made for each committee member given the individualâs circumstances and the task being under- taken by the committee. A determination that an individual has a conflict of interest is not an assessment of that individualâs actual behavior or character or ability to act objectively despite the conflicting interest. Kwame Awuah-Offei was determined to have a conflict of interest in relation to his service on the Committee on Potential Impacts of Goldmining in Virginia because he owns Sphinx Mining Systems, a company that consults with companies in the mining industry, including Barr Engineering, Weir International, and Vale International. The National Academies have determined that the experience and expertise of Awuah-Offei are needed for the com- mittee to accomplish the task for which it has been established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent experience and expertise who does not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies have concluded that the conflict is unavoidable. Jami Dwyer was determined to have a conflict of interest because her spouse holds stock in SSR Mining, a mining company focused on the operation, development, exploration, and acquisition of precious metal projects. The National Academies concluded that for this committee to accomplish the tasks for which it was established, its membership must include at least one person who has detailed first-hand knowledge of gold mine manage- ment and operations. As described in her biographical summary, as a General Supervisor for the Goldstrike Mine operated by Barrick Gold Corporation, and as a senior industry expert in gold and precious metals mining at Barr Engineering Company, Dwyer has extensive experience in managing gold mine operations, including operations in mine safety and health, rock mechanics, blasting, mine design, and technological innovation. Scott M. Olson was determined to have a conflict of interest because he currently consults with companies with some interests in the gold mining industry (Statum and Intertechne) and is on the Steering Committee of the Tailings and Industrial Waste Engineering Center that conducts research related to mine tailings and tailings stor- age facilities, which is supported through donations from numerous firms involved in the mining industry. The National Academies have concluded that for this committee to accomplish the tasks for which it was established, 197
198 THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF GOLD MINING IN VIRGINIA its membership must include at least one person who has current and detailed knowledge of environmental engineering as it pertains to tailings management. The task requires that the committee evaluate the impacts of potential gold mining and processing operations on public health, safety, and welfare. Tailings dam failure and contamination of the surface and groundwater by improperly managed tailings are arguably the greatest risks of gold mining and processing to public welfare and health. As described in his biographical summary, Olson has extensive experience as a consultant for numerous clients providing advice on tailings dam engineering. Olson also has specialized expertise in research related to static liquefaction and geotechnical earthquake engineering, which are two of the top design issues related to tailings dam failure and ground and surface water contamination. In each case, the National Academies determined that the experience and expertise of the individual were needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it was established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent experience and expertise who did not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies concluded that the conflict was unavoidable and publicly disclosed it on its website (www.nationalacademies.org).