Tailings management is a core activity at our operations and is embedded in our daily monitoring and management practices. We manage our tailings facilities consistent with robust government regulations, accepted international standards and best practices.
Our tailings facilities are all site-specific and have been carefully designed and constructed by specialized engineering consulting firms, in-line with regulations, in order to minimize environmental risks. At each of our facilities we have:
- Conducted extensive studies to locate the facility away from sensitive environmental areas such as lakes, streams, wetlands and key biodiversity zones
- Designed the extraction process so that tailings contain as few impurities as possible and are environmentally stable
- Constructed the facilities to be able to withstand extreme weather and seismic events
- Installed upstream and downstream monitoring facilities to measure water quality
We also have comprehensive tailings management systems in place at each of our operations. These include:
- Plans and procedures that identify clear roles, responsibilities and communication channels for personnel responsible for tailings management
- Ongoing training of personnel responsible for tailings management
- Operational controls such as real-time monitoring of tailings facilities, routine inspections and risk assessments, and regular maintenance programs
- Emergency preparedness and response plans
- Periodic review of tailings facility design, construction, operation and closure plans to facilitate ongoing relevance and alignment with current best practices
- Oversight from corporate head office to verify completion of any updates or corrective actions and to identify opportunities for shared learning across company operations
As part of our commitment to continuous improvement of our tailings management practices, our operations are audited by an internationally recognized expert in tailings management and dam safety. Our most recent audit did not identify any major deficiencies in our tailings management practices.