I work in a kitchen, where this sort of behavior would result in a forced closure and heavy fines. If I throw a few hundred pounds of chicken in an oven, I clean the surface I prepped them on. I do NOT wait until a disaster whips the stuff around and covers the whole kitchen with salmonella. While the contaminants are localized, they're easy to clean up. When disaster spreads them around, cleanup becomes nearly impossible.
In the mining context, we can't be leaving giant holes covered with contaminants just waiting for a storm! We know that a storm will come eventually. So we shouldn't fine companies for their failure after a disaster, we should send inspectors during normal operation to make sure they're meeting standards that will prevent disaster.
We need to do this because fining companies after a disaster will encourage them to minimize the financial effect of disaster, which may or may not involve behaviors that would prevent it in the first place. If the disaster rate is low enough, it could encourage them to set aside a fine-fund and make zero allowance for prevention. But if we penalize them for failure to prevent disaster in the first place, we'll be encouraging the behaviors we want to see.
Its a classic 'be careful what you wish for' problem.