The SME Guide to Tailings Resources

Access tailings management case studies, research, technical papers, and industry best practices from around the world.

Photo provided by Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde S.A.A., a corporate affiliate of Freeport McMoRan Inc.

Access tailings management case studies, research, technical papers, and industry best practices from around the world.

The development of a knowledge base around tailings management is complimentary to SME’s values, vision, and mission. Developing qualified personnel in all facets of mining and providing relevant information to the public are paramount to the success of the mining industry. The Tailings Information Portal provides a curated database of existing tailings related resources and is complimentary to the SME sponsored Tailings Management Handbook: A Lifecycle Approach and the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance (GMPA) Global Action on Tailings.

The Tailings Information Portal is for all audiences. Those with little experience and highly experienced tailings practitioners will find appropriate resources. The Portal provides links to various resources (internal and external to SME) within focus areas, including tailings planning, design and construction, operations and monitoring, closure and reclamation, governance, case studies, technology, and innovation. Some resources are free and publicly available, while others may require a separate fee or subscription. Resources may include webpages, online libraries, publications, regulations, guidelines, tools, training, webinars, videos, and scheduled events.

While the SME Tailings & Mine Waste Committee has reviewed the resources referenced in this Portal, and believe the references to be useful, current, and trustworthy, SME does not and cannot vouch for the reliability, accuracy, or opinions of individuals, organizations, websites, or any other resource outside of the SME organization. SME recommends that readers seek further professional guidance regarding application of these resources.

Other Resources you may find helpful

Global Mineral Professionals Alliance

Global Action on Tailings

This website provides an overview of the GMPA's Global Action on Tailings, the umbrella tailings initiative for member societies of the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance, which includes SME. This site provides some overview of tailings issues, some initial links to content and information on tailings related events.

Global Tailings Portal

The Global Tailings Portal, launched in January 2020, is a free, searchable database with detailed information on more than 1,800 mine tailings dams around the world. It enables users to sort data about tailings dams by location, company, dam type, height, volume, and risk, among other factors. The data was submitted by more than 100 of the world’s largest mining companies, in response to requests from institutional investors. The portal is designed to be used by governments, scientists, the finance community, the mining industry, media, and civil society.

Global Tailings Review

Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM)

A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities (the Tailings Guide) is designed to be applied by MAC members and non-MAC members alike, anywhere in the world. The Tailings Guide, first released in 1998, provides guidance on responsible tailings management, helps companies develop and implement site-specific tailings management systems, and improves consistency of application of engineering and management principles to tailings management.

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