A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities (the Tailings Guide) is designed to be applied by MAC members and non-MAC members alike, anywhere in the world. The Tailings Guide provides guidance on responsible tailings management, helps companies develop and implement site-specific tailings management systems, and improves consistency of application of engineering and management principles to tailings management.
Version 3.1 (2019) of the Tailings Guide can be downloaded here:
In 2021, MAC released its Version 3.2 of the Tailings Guide, which includes further updates and improvements, and can be downloaded here:
Version 3.1 of the Tailings Guide includes an implementation checklist that can be used to help in developing site-specific tailings management systems. Completing the checklist can help identify gaps and deficiencies in tailings management. The checklist is available in Microsoft Excel, allowing users flexibility in adapting the checklist to their specific sites. In Version 3.2 of the Tailings Guide, the checklist is replaced by the Table of Conformance.
- Tailings Guide implementation checklist, Version 3.1
For new tailings facilities and for facilities undergoing mine life extensions, the Tailings Guide recommends using a rigorous approach to selection of the most appropriate tailings management technology and facility location. This should be done very early in the life cycle, at the conceptual planning phase of the facility, using the decision-making approach described in Appendix 3 of the Tailings Guide. Further information is available in the following documents:
- Guidelines for the Assessment of Alternatives for Mine Waste Disposal (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2011)
- A Multiple Accounts Analysis for Tailings Site Selection (Andy Robertson and Shannon Shaw, 1999)