Tailings Management

During the mining process, valuable commodities are separated from the rock and soil within which they occur. Tailings are the rock or soil that is left over, some of which can be harmful to the environment if not managed responsibly. Mining companies carefully manage these materials in engineered structures to ensure safety for both surrounding communities and the environment. Did You Know? Tailings Management What is Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM)? A globally recognized sustainability program that helps mining companies manage their environmental and social responsibilities and evaluate and publicly report their performance A mandatory requirement for companies in a growing number of mining associations around the world, offering tools to drive continuous performance improvements Tailings Management The TSM Tailings Management Protocol lays out a clear set of criteria for companies to: • Make commitments related to tailings management that are approved and endorsed by senior leaders within the company • Implement a tailings management system that reflects best-in-industry guidance to manage tailings in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner • Develop plans in case of emergency, including plans to both prepare for and respond to potential emergencies • Make an executive accountable for ensuring that an appropriate structure and resources are in place for responsible tailings management • Review annually to ensure the effectiveness of corporate governance and tailings management systems and structures • Manage risks and improve performance by designing and implementing a manual that defines clear roles, responsibilities, plans and procedures for tailings management Raising the Bar: Leading Practices in Tailings Management What does good practice look like? • The Mining Association of Canada has developed a world-leading Tailings Guide on best practices for safe and responsible tailings management. In the context of Towards Sustainable Mining , good practice means that a company’s tailings management system – everything from emergency preparedness and response plans to clearly defined employee responsibilities – are aligned with the requirements of this guide. • A second guidance document supports companies in developing site-specific manuals for the operation, maintenance, and surveillance of each of their tailings facilities. When adhering to Towards Sustainable Mining , mine sites are expected to develop and implement manuals that meet the requirements of this guide.