Guidelines on Tailings Dams – Planning, Design, Construction, Operation and Closure – revision 1 (July 2019)

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ANCOLD published the Guidelines on Tailings Dams in May 2012. The Guidelines have been widely used both in Australia and internationally.

Since 2012, there have been a number of tragic tailings dam failures which have attracted world-wide attention. This revision is ANCOLD’s initial response to these events and other relevant matters.

Some of the important matters covered in this revision include reinforcement of the need for robust management practices, updates on earthquake considerations to align with the ANCOLD Guidelines for Design of Dams and Appurtenant Structures for Earthquake (2019) and additional information on static liquefaction.

In regard to management practices, the need for users of the Tailings Guidelines to also take account relevant aspects of the ANCOLD Guidelines on Dam Safety Management (2003) must be emphasised. ANCOLD considers it essential that these two guidelines be used together by practitioners seeking to manage tailings dam safety.

ANCOLD is pleased to continue its contributions to the promotion of tailings dam safety. The work has been prepared through a great deal of voluntary work by the Tailings Dam Sub-Committee of ANCOLD, led by Mr David Brett.

As with all ANCOLD guidelines, this guideline is not a design code or standard and has been produced for the guidance of experienced practitioners who are required to apply their own professional skill and judgement in its application. Users must keep abreast of developments in the management and design of tailings dams and take those developments into account when using these guidelines.

The guidelines will again be reviewed when knowledge and practice have developed to a point when an update is required. Accordingly, ANCOLD welcomes comments from users and other interested parties.

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