The Global Action on Tailings is a GMPA initiative, to engage and connect technical experts to advance discussions and solutions relating to tailings management, tailing reprocessing, repurposing and ultimately driving toward tailings elimination.
The increasing rate of tailings dam failures is directly related to the increasing number of tailings impoundment areas larger than 5 million cubic meter capacity. Losses of human life, as well economic and ecological impacts, either permanent or non-recoverable, are often immense. The average cost of these catastrophic tailings dam failures is $543 million. Mining companies cannot afford, nor financially secure the costs of catastrophic failures. In addition, the reputational impact of a dam failure is devastating.
To compound this, climate change and ageing mines have made the problem more pressing, with precipitation levels increasing in many parts of the world, and older dams with designed with out-dated specifications. Today, tailings management is the most pressing issue facing our sector.
Collectively the GPMA membership has tens of thousands of technical experts around the world with experience in all aspects of mine waste and tailings - the geology, mineralogy, geotechnical, mining, processing, tailings dewatering, deposition, water management, reprocessing, and remediation.
An international GAT Taskforce of experts is working together build awareness and knowledge of tailings management through information on design, operation, risk management and improvement opportunities, and education and professional development activities to enhance competencies in tailings management.
In addition, each GMPA member organization has established specialist tailings committees providing guidance on conferences, online technical education, publications, as well as strategic input into industry reviews and consultations.
For further information on the GAT Initiative please contact:
Standards and Codes
Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management - Launched August 2020, establishes the first global standard on tailings management that can be applied to existing and future tailings facilities.
Global Tailings Portal - A searchable database with information on more than 1,800 mine tailings dams. Users can sort data about tailings dams by location, company, dam type, height, volume, and risk, among other factors.
Conferences and Professional Development
Jul 21 - AusIMM Mine Waste and Tailings Conference 2021 - Covering all aspects of life cycle waste rock and tailings management from site selection and design to post-closure care.
Feb 21 - AusIMM Professional Certificate in Tailings Management - Gain competency in the geotechnical, geochemical, governance, closure, and socio-economic considerations of tailings management.