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Gain competency and expand your knowledge on the geotechnical, geochemical, governance, closure and socio-economic considerations of tailings management.

Quick facts


Per module
1 week

Full course
6 weeks


100% online

Course type

Professional Certificate

Next intake

31 August 2020

PD Hours

Per module
6 hours

Entire course
36 hours


Course delivered in English

Course Overview

AusIMM, in conjunction with leading experts in the mining industry, has developed the Online Professional Certificate in Tailings Management. Featuring internationally-renowned tailings experts and case studies, the course will cover geotechnical, geochemical, governance, closure and socio-economic considerations of tailings management.

Participants have the flexibility to select which modules they would like to complete within an intake. Upon successful completion of all six modules, a Professional Certificate in Tailings Management will be awarded.

The interactive, online format of the course will provide participants with an opportunity to learn in a community-based environment from wherever they are situated.

Course Structure

The course content for each module will be delivered over one week. Each module consists of:

  • A live 90-minute webinar featuring industry experts
  • Pre-recorded videos, featuring Q&As with global tailings experts
  • Interactive learning activities and group discussions
  • Multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Additional readings and case studies

Participants who enrol for individual modules will have access to the course platform for two weeks per module.

Participants who enrol for all six modules will have access to the course platform for ten weeks to complete all modules.

Course pricing

Per module

Member $450
Non-member $600

+ GST (for Australian based participants)

Full course

Member $2,290
Non-member $2,990

+ GST (for Australian based participants)

Australian enrolments

International enrolments 

Module 1

Introduction to tailings management

  • Describe the key elements of tailings management
  • Explain the variations in tailings management globally
  • Explore the cause and effects of recent tailings failures
  • Discuss the opportunities for improvement
Module 2

Geotechnical considerations of tailings management

  • Explore the key geotechnical causes of failures
  • Explain risk assessment methods and acceptability
  • Discuss the importance of site settings and parameters
  • Explain storage design, construction, operation and closure
  • Explain monitoring and emergency response
Module 3

Geochemical considerations for tailings management

  • Explain potential for contamination with real-life examples
  • Describe encapsulating/covering to limit contamination
  • Discuss tailings re-processing
  • Discuss tailings re-use
Module 4

Monitoring and Governance

  • Understand the governance of tailings management
  • Describe key elements of leading practice tailings governance
  • Examine leading tailings best practice guidelines including Engineer of Record, Independent Technical Review Boards, Mining Company standards, regional Guidelines, Global Tailings Standard, and Regulations
Module 5

Tailings management for closure

  • Understand tailings management for closure
  • Describe risk assessment methods and acceptability
  • Examine potential contamination and design in perpetuity
  • Analyse site settings, value-adding, capping and revegetation
  • Examine monitoring, maintenance and residual risk
Module 6

Socio-economic considerations of tailings management

  • Understand net present value versus whole-of-life accounting
  • Examine their impact on operations and closure
  • Discuss key governance considerations, including financial and social licence to operate, post-mining land use and ecological function, and residual risk

Tailings consultants

Contractors and consultants.

Mining companies

Head office senior management and technical personnel with a responsibility for tailings.

Mining industry professionals

Tailings engineers, managers, and operators.

David Williams
David Williams
Professor and Director of Geotechnical Engineering Centre at The University of Queensland; Manager, Large Open Pit Project

Professor David Williams initiated and directs the industry-funded, UQ Geotechnical Engineering Centre at The University of Queensland, which has attracted $10M in funding, and manages the Large Open Pit Project. He has over 40 years of teaching, research and consulting experience, and is internationally recognised for his expertise and experience in mine waste management and mine closure, pertaining to tailings dams in particular.

Professor Williams was a member of an Expert Panel investigating technical causes of the Brumadinho tailings dam failure and is on a number of Tailings Independent Technical Review Boards, including for Escondida.

He authored the 2009 and 2016 Tailings Management Handbook, as part of the Commonwealth Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry. Professor Williams is currently involved in the Working Party for the Australian National Committee for Large Dams Guidelines on Tailings Dams – Planning, Design, Construction, Operation and Closure, published in 2012, with an update in 2019.

More experts to be announced shortly.

What are the technical requirements to participate in the course? i.e. do I need a webcam, microphone, etc?
The course will be run entirely online via a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS) which can be accessed via computer, tablet or phone. Participants will simply need to have a working Internet connection and a computer, tablet or phone with sound to access the course. They will not be required to download any software and will not require any hardware like a webcam or microphone.

How long will the course take?
The full course is estimated to take about 36 hours of learning (approximately six hours per module). Participants who enrol for individual modules will have access to the course platform for two weeks per module. Participants who enrol for all six modules will have access to the course platform for ten weeks to complete all modules.

Must a participant complete and pass all modules in order to finish the course?
Yes, it is a requirement for participants to complete all exercises and pass all learning activities for the modules they enrol for. A Professional Certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of all six modules.

Do I have to complete all six modules?
No, you can select the modules that relate to your own professional development needs. A Professional Certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of all six modules.

How often will the courses be run?
The first intake will commence in August 2020. Following this, we aim to run two to three intakes each year.

Will the course be delivered in other languages?
At the moment, the course will only be delivered in English. Live captioning can be requested for webinars – please email if this is required.

Does someone have to have a prequalification of years’ experience before they can do the course?
No, the course is designed for those who have prior knowledge in tailings management.

Confirmation of Enrolments:
Participants will receive a confirmation email upon successful enrolment. Receipts for payments will be attached to the confirmation letter. Payment is required within 7 working days of enrolment.

Please note that all international transaction fees and local tax withheld are the responsibility of the enrolling participant (or their company). Please ensure the transmitted payment will cover any such amount. Payment must accompany all enrolments. We accept the following credit cards: Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

The total amount invoiced to the participant and/or company must be paid in full prior to course commencement date. The payment must be made in Australian dollars. Participants and/or company is liable for fees and taxes.

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations of enrolment must be by email only ( Refunds will apply as follows:

  • More than 28 days before the course – Full refund
  • 28 – 7 days before the course – Refund (less $500 administration charge)
  • 7 days or less before the course or non-attendance – No refund (no exceptions)

An organisation may send an alternative participant if enrolment has been paid and the enrolled person is unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, the course administration must be advised of the change via email ( prior to the course commencement date. No changes are allowed once the course has commenced.

Only pre-enrolled, pre-paid participants will be guaranteed access to the course. Upon receipt of your enrolment and payment, AusIMM will send confirmation.

AusIMM member fee:
To qualify for the special fee of ‘AusIMM member’ as quoted on the enrolment form you must be a financial (paid) member. Non-member enrolment fees apply to all non-members and non-financial AusIMM members.

Participant list:
Please note that all enrolled participants may have their name, position, company and email address shown within the online course platform. AusIMM reserves the right to change the intake schedule or to cancel or postpone the course if minimum numbers are not met.

Throughout the course the participant must provide all answers in English. This includes the learning activities in all modules and the final assignment. Participants who fail to complete all learning activities will not receive the Professional Certificate in Tailings Management. Refunds are not available if the participant fails to reach a passing grade.

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