A key component of the NSW Resources Regulator compliance model is to educate and engage the regulated community. This includes facilitating information exchange on leading practice tailings management.

As part of the April 2019 tailings management workshop, we engaged Professor David Williams (University of Queensland) to present on leading practice tailings management as well as key life-cycle tailings management risks.

A key message provided by Professor Williams was that there is a move away from conventional slurry tailings to dewatered tailings technologies and other innovative tailings treatment methods which don’t necessarily rely upon the use of a tailings storage facility structure to contain the material.

Further research and innovation should focus on dewatered tailings that allows combining the material with other waste products such as waste rock to allow for integrated waste emplacement or co-disposal to enable a shift away from conventional slurry tailings storage facilities.

The information below provides a useful resource for mine operators on leading practice and consideration of key life cycle tailings management risks.

Guidance: Tailings leading practice - questions and answers by Professor Williams