Waste materials can contain potentially hazardous chemical or physical properties. We are exploring ways to generate value from materials previously classified as waste, while also mitigating potential environmental and financial legacy impacts. We have commenced research to identify the best remediation and rehabilitation strategies at some of our operations. The outcome of this research will be integrated into our operations’ planning processes and will inform our Closure Plans.
We manage and report our performance on waste in accordance with company standards and applicable legislation. Our dam management standards define the minimum requirements in support of responsible dam management and conformance to industry level practices.
Our internal standards are consistent with our commitments to the ICMM Position Statement on Preventing Catastrophic Failure of Tailings Storage Facilities. The foundation of ICMM’s Position Statement is a Tailings Governance Framework which enhances the focus on six key elements of management and governance necessary to prevent catastrophic failure of tailings storage facilities. These include:
■ Accountability, responsibility and competency
■ Planning and resourcing
■ Risk management
■ Change management
■ Emergency preparedness and response
■ Review and assurance
We construct, operate and decommission all of our dam facilities in a safe and compliant manner consistent with regulatory requirements, applicable guidelines, our internal standards and obligations to stakeholders. This is applicable to all phases of each dam’s life cycle including planning and site location, design and construction, operation and preventative maintenance, decommissioning, closure and rehabilitation and post-closure monitoring and maintenance.
All our dams are carefully managed and monitored. Our large tailings dams are all located in Australia:
■ Worsley Alumina
These three operations have numerous tailings dams that are hydraulically filled, some with clay liners and some with synthetic liners. Our Australian dams are designed and built to the standards required by the various States and Territories and to Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) standards. They are designed by expert tailings consultants and the facilities audited annually.