The Minerals Council of Australia has moved to progressively address tailings management issues following the recent spate of tragic world events in the management of mine tailings.
Australia’s minerals industry is demonstrating global leadership and best practice in governance, information sharing and technical expertise in tailings storage management with the release of the Australian Mining Tailings Communique.
“Australian mining is committed to the safe and responsible management of tailings storage facilities during and after mining – ensuring the safety of workers and local communities is our highest priority. In co-operation with governments, communities and researchers, Australian minerals companies have developed robust, innovative, world-leading practices in health and safety, tailings storage engineering and environmental management. Tragic incidents around the world over the past decade reinforce the need for ongoing vigilance, review and change. They have also raised legitimate questions about tailings management practicesExtract from AUSTRALIAN MINING TAILINGS COMMUNIQUE
from governments, investors and the community. Australian companies are committed to playing a role in the global response to develop international guidelines and standards for tailings management by the International Council on Mining and Metals. This contribution should ensure that the global minerals industry rises to the challenge of having the best possible systems, culture and technology, while remaining vigilant and ready to respond quickly and effectively.
Tania Constable CEO of Minerals Council of Australia said the organisation will support the communique, developed by MCA member companies after a workshop earlier this year, with a program of training, research and governance actions currently in development.
Tailings are fine-grained solid residues left after minerals and metals have been extracted and are commonly transported as slurry and ‘thickened’ (to minimise water) prior to storage in tailings storage facilities or dams,
either above or below ground.
Constable said “Opportunities will be identified to build industry expertise and enhance technical capacity on tailings management for the minerals workforce. Tragic incidents around the world over the past decade reinforce the need for ongoing vigilance, review and change and raise legitimate questions about tailings management practices from governments, investors and the community.”
“Australia’s minerals industry met earlier this year to review governance, culture and risk management for tailings storage facility management.
While current tailings management practices in Australia are highly regulated and at the forefront of global best practice, the industry is committed to continual improvement as part of its culture of safe and responsible resource development.”
Constable added, “There is no room for complacency and honest and transparent communication and engagement with the workforce, host communities, governments, investors and other stakeholders is central to the industry’s approach.”
The MCA said it is proud to be working with member companies, universities, community and our international counterparts to ensure the safety of our workforce is the number one priority on all mine sites.
Read more Mining Safety News