Tailings Management - What is Best Practice?

18 Sep 2019

IOM Communications on behalf of the Mining Divisions of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and MinSouth

On the 4th March 2019, the Global Minerals Professional Alliance (GMPA) announced it would seek to address global action on tailings with help from various organisations including IOM3.

The initiative will focus on examining tailings from the perspective of disposal and closure, help move forward discussions and solutions for tailings management, reprocessing and reuse in a bid to move towards the elimination of tailings.

Tailings are the solid material plus varying degrees of runoff and process water (waste) remaining after the recoverable metals and minerals have been extracted from mined ore. The physical and chemical characteristics of the tailings vary with the nature of the ore, its geological setting and the climate where the tailings are placed.  Tailings are most commonly stored in surface facilities, which can represent a significant area of disturbance at mining operations.  They have ongoing and severe safety risks associated with their storage.

Mining companies, professional groups, industry organizations, and academics have expressed renewed interest in tailings management following the disaster that took place in late January at Vale's Corrego do Feijão operation, where a tailings dam collapsed, killing more than 300 people.

In light of the GMPA announcement, the three divisions of the IOM3 associated with the mineral extraction industries (Mining Technology, Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy, and Applied Earth Science Divisions), in association with MinSouth, are hosting a seminar focused on Mine Tailings Management at 297 Euston Road, London NW1.

The aim is to bring together representatives of the various organisations and experts in tailings management to speak on the issues surrounding tailings dam construction, safety, maintenance and inspection.

The conference will cover a wide scope, from 'how tailings dams work', current tailings management, geotechnical considerations, international policy, the future of tailings and other uses of mine waste.


The presentations will focus on:

  • An international standard for tailings dams, including classification and systems for review
  • Alternative strategies for mine tailings
  • Emergency planning and preparedness
  • Ways to use existing resources and data to create and improve research and training initiatives

This conference is an ideal opportunity for mining company staff, mine managers, geotechnical and tailings engineers, consultants, regulators and academics to convene and discuss ideas, learn of new technologies and developments, and debate the issues related to mine waste storage.  It is the intention that the collected papers will become an invaluable guide to Best Practice Tailings Management.

In addition to the progamme of invited speakers, offers of papers are welcome - deadline 30 June 2019:

The cost to attend the seminar is:

Members               £  90 + VAT

Non-members     £140 + VAT      

Venue and booking

Event Location: 
The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
297 Euston Road
United Kingdom
Contact details: 

Lucy Harvie-Austin

T. +44 (0)20 7451 7302



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