Dam Safety NSW guidelines

Dam Safety NSW has published guidelines specific to tailings storage facility management, referred to as DSC3F Tailings Dams. The Dam Safety NSW guidelines are generally consistent with the ANCOLD guidelines.

With commencement of the Dams Safety Act 2015 new guidance material will be developed as part of the new regulatory framework and made available at www.damsafety.nsw.gov.au.

Guidelines and Standards listed below are recognised by the NSW Resources Regulator as being relevant to tailings storage facility management and provide industry acceptable practice. There are legislative requirements for operators of tailings facilities to exercise due diligence by acquiring and keeping up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters. This includes knowledge of appropriate guidelines that apply to tailings storage facility management.

ANCOLD guidelines on tailings dams

The Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) is recognised as the primary industry advisory body for dams in Australia and provides a series of guidance on what is considered acceptable practice, including engineering performance criteria.

An addendum to these guidelines was released by ANCOLD in July 2019. The addendum provides important updates in response to recent tragic tailings storage facility failures. These updates reinforce the need for robust management practices as well as updates on earthquake considerations for static liquefaction.

Further information on these guidelines can be found at www.ancold.org.au.

Tailings management, leading practice sustainable development program for the mining industry

These guides provide an overview of tailings management strategies and leading practice (including case studies). The guidelines facilitate general understanding of tailings management and are useful for consideration of alternate tailings management options and innovations.

Further information on these guidelines can be found here.

Global Acid Rock Drainage Guidelines 

The GARD guidelines addresses mine waste covers to manage Acid Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) issues. It is published by INAP (International Network for Acid Prevention) which is an industry-sponsored advisory body for issues relating to AMD.

Further information on these guidelines can be found here

Construction engineering standards

Although an Australian Standard specific to tailings storage facility construction has not been drafted, the following Australian Standards are relevant to the construction and quality control for tailings storage facility wall foundation investigation and construction:

AS 1726-2017 Geotechnical Site Investigations

AS 3798-2007 Guidelines on Earthworks for Commercial and Residential Developments

AS 1289-2014 Methods of testing for engineering purposes

AS 2758.6-2008 Aggregates and Rock for engineering purposes, guidelines for the specification of armour stone.

AS 1170.4-2007 Structural Design Actions, Part 4 Earthquake actions in Australia.

Australian Standards can be purchased at www.standards.org.au