A crucial part of the Regulator's compliance and enforcement strategy involves implementing a scheduled and targeted assessment program for mines.

The Tailings Compliance Priority Project identified uncertainties and knowledge gaps in relation to the management of tailings storage facilities. We drew upon the insights gained from this project and internal risk assessments to develop an assessment program around how mine operators define and implement risk controls for the closure of a tailings storage facility. Further information on risk assessment processes and identification of critical controls can be found in the Consideration of risks page

The Regulator considers a number of factors when assessing how mine operators identify, refine and implement critical controls. Information that may assist mine operators understand the range of issues that are assessed by the Regulator as part of the tailings assessment for mine closure matters is contained in our Guidance note - Tailings TAP assessment.

The initial tailings assessment was undertaken by the Regulator between October 2019 and March 2020  to assess how mine operators were identifying and managing risks associated with hazards that affect worker safety (WHS Act considerations) and the environment (Mining Act considerations).

The program covered 19 mines and the results of the program have been published in the Tailings TAP Report dated August 2021.