Tailings are water-based waste products generated from our open pit mining operations and processing plant.
Waste water and solids are taken by pipeline to the nearby Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) on the west side of the Carpentaria Highway, south of Surprise Creek.
The TSF is currently divided into three cells. Cell one, which is closest to Surprise Creek, is being rehabilitated and no longer used for tailings deposits. Tailings are being deposited into cell two with water being decanted back to the plant. The third area is a water management dam.
The TSF plays an important role in reducing water use on-site as water is recycled back to the plant for use in production processes. This is turn reduces the amount of water stored in the facility.
Our TSF design is in line with standards set by the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Guidelines (2012). That means our facility is built to the same safety standard as all major water storage dams. We have also appointed an independent review board to provide advice on managing the dam.
ANCOLD has specific guidelines for tailings dam design, construction and operation. These are regarded as the best practice standards under Australian conditions and are recognised as the industry standard by state and territory governments.
At the end of minelife, it is planned to reprocess the tailings over a 10-year period and rehabiitate the current footprint.