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PanAust Limited’s approach to mine waste and tailings stewardship


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Author L P Trout and D G Reid


PanAust Limited (PanAust) has successfully constructed and commissioned two mining operations in Lao PDR over the past decade and undertaken major studies for three new mine developments. The management of potentially acid generating mine waste and tailings in close proximity of local communities sensitive to water discharge quality have been recurring themes that have confronted PanAust’s project study, development and operational teams. Further compounding challenges, such as the effects of intense annual tropical monsoonal conditions, staging of embankment raises and regular lifting of spillway structures, integrating mine waste and tailings management into production plans and ensuring the long term stability of structures, have been addressed by implementing leading practice management solutions.

A recognition of the criticality of managing the substantial business risks associated with these crucial activities led to the early establishment of a governance structure to ensure that the highest standards are embraced for planning and execution. Importantly, these are guided and monitored by a panel of highly experienced and qualified international specialists reporting directly to PanAust’s Managing Director – the Tailings Independent Review Panel. The stewardship process has been effective in identifying potential shortcomings in management systems and has led to enhanced executive commitment to risk informed designs, assurance and overall process rigour.


Trout, L P and Reid, D G, 2018. PanAust Limited’s approach to mine waste and tailings stewardship, in Proceedings Mine Waste and Tailings Stewardship Conference 2018, pp 135–155 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).