After multiple tailings dam failures in recent times, the owner organisations have made increased efforts to step up the governance systems to industry best practise in the design, construction and operational management areas. The measures include but are not limited to, site investigation, rigorous peer review (both internal and external), certification through appropriately qualified personnel and improvement in operational management practises.
While a lot of focus is on design and operational practices, the construction stage requires adaptation (both in terms of materials and approved design) and immediate decision making on site. Work undertaken in these areas is mostly irreversible and sometimes poses serious threat to the future TSF raise/ expansion planning and may lead to reduced life of the TSF and additional risk to the Owner.
This technical paper will discuss some challenges and highlight the importance of appropriate processes to achieve a successful construction regime. The process will include a robust quality control/ quality assurance process, a team of designer-constructor-owner with suitable skills and technical understandings and robust documentation of the entire construction process from day 1 to the completion of construction.
Kundu, A and Laxman, M, 2018. Robust construction and quality assurance culture for tailings storage facilities – equally important as robust design and review practice, in Proceedings Mine Waste and Tailings Stewardship Conference 2018, pp 111–116 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).