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Tailings Guide

A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities is designed to be a stand-alone document that can be applied by MAC members and non-MAC members alike, anywhere in the world. For MAC members applying Towards Sustainable Mining® (TSM®), the Tailings Guide supports the TSM Tailings Management Protocol.

The Tailings Guide incorporates a management systems approach for tailings management, and:

  • Provides information on safe and environmentally responsible management of tailings facilities

  • Helps companies develop tailings management systems that include environmental and safety criteria

  • Improves consistency of application of sound engineering and management principles to tailings facilities

Revisions to the Tailings Guide, made following internal and external reviews of the tailings management component of TSM, resulted in the 2017 release of the third edition of the guide.

For MAC members applying TSM, the third edition of the Tailings Guide will take effect in 2019. Until that time, members may continue to use the second edition of the Tailings Guide.
 


 A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities (Second Edition; 2011)

A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities (Third Edition; 2017)

A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities (Third Edition; 2017; For Mobile Mobile Devices)


Third Edition

The third edition retains a strong emphasis on management systems, while strengthening technical components, especially those critical to the physical and chemical stability of tailings facilities. The third edition also strengthens key concepts that were described in previous editions, and introduces others, including:

  • Integration of a risk-based approach into the tailings management framework

  • Selection and implementation of site-specific best available technologies (BAT) and best available/applicable practices (BAP)

  • Designing and operating for closure

  • Independent review

The third edition also strengthens key management components, such as change management, critical controls for risk management, and performance evaluation.

Tailings Guide implementation checklist has been developed to aid in the implementation of the tailings management framework. The checklist provides a basis for developing customized, site-specific tailings management systems. Completing the checklist can help identify gaps and/or deficiencies in tailings management. The checklist is provided in Microsoft Excel, allowing users flexibility in adapting the checklist to their specific circumstances.

For MAC members applying TSM, the Tailings Guide implementation checklist is an expanded version of the Table of Conformance, developed to assist in the measurement of performance against the indicators described in the TSM Tailings Management Protocol. Thus, the checklist and the Table of Conformance are designed to be complementary tools.

The first edition of the Tailings Guide was released 1998, and some refinements were introduced in the second edition, released in 2011. In 2003, MAC released Developing an Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance Manual for Tailings and Water Management Facilities (the OMS Guide) as a companion to the Tailings Guide. Revisions to the OMS Guide are currently in progress.