The Towards Sustainable Mining® (TSM) Tailings Management Protocol, first released in 2004 and revised in 2011, 2017, 2019 and 2022, is used to measure tailings management performance, with five performance indicators focused on:
- Having a corporate tailings management policy and commitment, intended to confirm that companies have established and effectively communicated a policy or commitment that expresses intention, commitments, and principles in relation to tailings management.
- Developing and implementing site-specific tailings management systems and emergency preparedness measures, intended to confirm that companies have:
- Developed and implemented a tailings management system.
- Developed and tested emergency response plans and emergency preparedness plans.
- Assigning accountability and responsibility for tailings management, intended to confirm that accountability for tailings management is assigned to an Accountable Executive Officer, and that an appropriate management structure and resources are in place to provide assurance to the company that tailings are managed responsibly.
- Conducting annual tailings management reviews, intended to confirm that there is an annual review of tailings management that is reported to the Accountable Executive Officer to ensure corporate governance over tailings management and to ensure that the company is satisfied that the tailings management organizational structures and systems are effective and continue to meet the needs of the organization.
- Developing and implementing site-specific Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance (OMS) manuals, intended to confirm that the company has developed and implemented a tailings facility-specific OMS manual to facilitate implementation of the tailings management system.