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Tailings waste

Tailings production is inherent to mining and metals processing and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

ICMM believes that the application of appropriate design and management standards and practices can make tailings facilities safe. ICMM members commit to the prevention of catastrophic failures of tailings facilities and to the continual improvement in the design, construction and operation of tailings facilities.

ICMM encourages all mining companies to improve their management of tailings facilities by adopting the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and leveraging technological innovation to support continual improvement.

Focus areas

About tailings

Tailings is a common by-product of the mineral recovery process, usually comprising a liquid slurry of fine mineral particles and water.

Effective management of tailings

Supporting education of tailings professionals, and promoting uptake of the latest tailings monitroing technologies.

Prevent pollution and manage releases and waste

ICMM is exploring innovative approaches and technologies to safely manage and minimise, and significantly reduce the production of tailings waste from the mine life cycle.

Tailings facilities of ICMM company members

Member responses to the ask by the Church of England & Council on Ethics for details of tailings storage facilities

Tailings aspirational goal

Innovation and collaboration to identify alternative methods of mineral recovery that can reduce or eventually eliminate the generation of tailings.

Improve tailings monitoring solutions

ICMM’s work on exploring and engaging vendors and innovative technologies that offer solutions to strengthen monitoring and surveillance of tailings facilities.

ICMM's Mining Principles

Supporting global goals