PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner South32 has revealed that it will spend $55-million on its tailings storage facilities (TSFs) in the 2019 financial year, following up the $35-million expenditure of the previous year.
South32 has joined the ranks of other global miners providing information on the standards of its tailing dams, following in the footsteps of BHP, Glencore and Anglo American.
South32 CEO Graham Kerr noted on Monday that the company had 37 TSFs across its global operations, both at its owned and operated sites and those that were operated on behalf of joint venture (JV) partnerships.
Of the 37 tailings dams, 20 were active and a further 16 were inactive, with one closed. Kerr noted that 16 of these tailings facilities used the upstream construction method.
“In 2017 and 2018 we conducted a detailed internal assessment of our highest potential consequence tailings dam. This review concluded our dam structures are well managed and identified improvement actions which have since been implemented,” Kerr said.
Kerr noted that following the Brumadinho dam failure, the Brazilian National Mining Agency introduced new national standards on the safety and security of TSFs in the country, which required an independent audit at all tailings facilities to verify stability.
The audit was concluded in March this year, with all of South32’s structures verified as compliant with the new standard.
In addition to the 37 tailings operations operated by South32, a further 31 facilities were operated by the company’s JV partners.Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online