The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) recently published training material based on the “ICMM Tailings Management: Good Practice Guide,” which the organization released in May 2021. The training materials are designed for use by tailings professionals in educating wider site-based staff and executives to improve awareness of the importance of integrated tailings management at the site level.

The training material, according to ICMM, aims to build capacity across the industry by providing a practical, interactive resource to illustrate key concepts of good governance and engineering practices and can be tailored for a specific site or company to make it more relevant for the audience. The offering includes narrated video files of the training delivered by tailings specialists, for use by organizations or sites without access to a tailings specialist with the knowledge to run the sessions independently.

“Companies are implementing the standard across sites in different stages of the mining lifecycle and with varied geographies, commodities and regulatory systems,” ICMM COO Aidan Davy said. “Our training material can be customized to an individual site or company to make it more relevant for the audience, and we encourage the participation of staff from multiple disciplines such as closure, processing, water and community support in the planning and delivery of the training sessions to enhance the material and enable better integrated outcomes.”

ICMM said the guide aims to promote good governance and engineering practices that support continual improvement in the management of new and existing tailings facilities, and to strengthen the “safety culture” within companies.

It covers a broad range of technical and engineering elements, including improved engineering practices across the whole tailings lifecycle: from project conception and design to construction and operation, closure and post-closure. It integrates stronger governance around four key areas: corporate policy, accountability and responsibility; operation, maintenance and surveillance activities; information management; and oversight and emergency preparedness. 

ICMM said it reinforces the importance of engaging with local communities and regulators and is the first guidance that clearly details the roles of board directors and executives relating to tailings management.