Loss of life, no production, a multi-million dollar cleanup and an impact on company credibility and share value – these are the potential results of a mining tailings spillage.
According to The University of Western Australia’s Australian Centre of Geomechanics (ACG), potentially disastrous spillages from tailings storages can usually be averted – and the Centre has produced a new DVD that could help mining companies address the problem of tailings storages failures or spillages before they escalate into disasters.
Tailings – From Concept to Closure: Best Practices for Tailings Disposal, is a timely DVD to help lift the standards and training associated with tailings disposal, according to John Phillips, senior manager of mining consultancy, GHD.
“Scripted by Dr Andy Fourie of ACG, the DVD represents not only the latest safe practices but is also pragmatic in its approach, showing real life situations. The DVD is an essential training tool for all mines or processing plants that have tailings storage facilities (TSF),” Mr Phillips said.
“Commonly, mine management regard tailings as an unwanted nuisance. Tailings operations are relegated to available staff who may not have been trained in the skills necessary to deal with the many engineering facets of tailings disposal. They feel the risk is low, which it generally is, but the consequences are enormous.
“The DVD stresses the need to plan ahead. It gives warnings about the significant cost implications and the effect these have on cash flow. Overall, it ranks as one of the most useful training tools in this field.
TSFs have such potential for damage that all staff should at least see the overview section of the DVD as part of their basic site induction,” he said.
Copies can be ordered from the ACG via firstname.lastname@example.org
Josephine Ruddle, (ACG) 61 8 6488 1864