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Other guidelines and standards

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 the commencement of the Dams Safety Act 2015 new guidance material will be developed as part of the new regulatory framework and made available at

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

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.

See the Leading Practice Handbooks for sustainable mining guidelines.

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.

See the GARD guidelines on the INAP website.

ICMM/UNEP/PRI Global Tailings Review (August 2020)

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) co-convened the Global Tailings Review to establish an international standard for the safer management of tailings storage facilities. This review has resulted in a standard that provides 15 principles and associated requirements.