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Environmental Stewardship: Aggregate Performance

Through TSM, mining operations have access to best practices in tailings management and biodiversity conservation management and are evaluated on their performance in these areas.  TSM helps to ensure that mining operations manage their tailings facilities responsibly to protect human safety and the environment. Mining facilities must also adopt management systems and set targets to limit impacts to local biodiversity and are encouraged to collaborate with local conservation groups to improve outcomes.

Tailings Management

Percentage of Facilities at Level A or Higher - 2006, 2016 and 2017

To achieve a Level A, TSM requires a facility to implement a system for responsible tailings management. This includes assigning executive-level accountability and responsibility for tailings management and developing and maintaining an operation, maintenance and surveillance (OMS) manual. A facility must also evaluate the performance and adequacy of their tailings management system annually. The protocol is based on MAC’s three tailings management guides.

Following the tailings incident at the Mount Polley Mine in August 2014, MAC initiated internal and external reviews of its TSM Tailings Management Protocol and guides. Both reviews confirmed their strength, but identified opportunities to incorporate proven and emerging best practices for tailings management. A revised protocol and Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities were released in 2017. A summary of the revisions can be found in the 2017 TSM Progress Report


  • 92% have implemented a management policy for and demonstrated commitment to responsible tailings management.

  • 92% have implemented a tailings management system.

  • 77% have assigned accountability for tailings management to the company's CEO or COO.

  • 71% have conducted an annual tailings management review.

  • 91% have developed and implemented a OMS manual.

Biodiversity Conservation Management

Percentage of Facilities at Level A or Higher - 2012, 2016 and 2017

To achieve a Level A, TSM requires facilities to establish formal commitments to manage biodiversity at their sites and ensure that action plans for significant biodiversity aspects are implemented. Facilities must also implement biodiversity reporting systems to inform decision-making and communicate their performance publicly. 


  • 75% have senior management commitment to biodiversity conservation in place.

  • 69% have implemented a biodiversity conservation management system.

  • 66% report publicly on biodiversity conservation activities and performance.

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