Australia addresses tailings storage management with new publication

23 September 2019

Australia’s minerals industry has announced the release of the Australian Mining Tailings Communique, which it is hoped will encourage best practice in governance, information sharing and technical expertise in tailings storage management

The Minerals Council of Australia will support the communique, developed by MCA member companies after a workshop earlier this year, with a program of training, research and governance actions currently in development.

Opportunities will be identified to build industry expertise and enhance technical capacity on tailings management for the minerals workforce.

Tragic incidents around the world over the past decade reinforce the need for ongoing vigilance, review and change and raise legitimate questions about tailings management practices from governments, investors and the community.

Australia’s minerals industry met earlier this year to review governance, culture and risk management for tailings storage facility management.

While current tailings management practices in Australia are highly regulated and at the forefront of global best practice, the industry is committed to continual improvement as part of its culture of safe and responsible resource development, said the MCA.

According to the Communique, the Australian minerals industry will work together to drive the following actions:

  • Communicate and engage – Communicate and engage with the community including government and other key stakeholders on our approach to tailings management in a transparent manner to build community confidence
  • Leadership, governance and systems – Assess and identify key elements of corporate leadership, culture, systems and governance to proactively manage tailings risks and share information
  • Share leading practice – Continue to actively share and promote industry leading practice and lessons learned in Australia and overseas from all industries
  • Build industry expertise – Identify opportunities to enhance industry capacity in key technical aspects of tailings management
  • Engage internationally – Offer Australian expertise to help build global initiatives on tailings management including the development of, and alignment to, standards and guidelines.

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