June 30/July 7, 2003

Mining Association releases updated guide to managing tailings, water facilities

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has released A Guide to Developing an Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance (OMS) Manual for Tailings and Water Management Facilities, to assist the mining industry worldwide in ensuring the safety and integrity of its tailings and water management facilities.

The new guide follows up on and complements MAC's 1998 Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities, which outlines safe and environmentally responsible management of tailings and water management facilities. It also reflects the principles set out in the association's environmental policy and its "Towards Sustainable Mining" draft guiding principles. MAC believes the new publication will, like its forerunner, become the standard by which these facilities are managed in Canada and other countries worldwide.

"MAC's OMS guide is the most recent contribution by the Canadian mining industry to environmental and engineering excellence in tailings management and will take environmental performance in the industry to a new level," said MAC president and CEO Gordon Peeling. "By helping to prevent dam failures, adoption of the OMS guide also means investing in the safety of local communities, in the industry's reputation and in shareholder value," he added.

The guide addresses a full range of issues, including: how to prepare an OMS manual for a facility; definition and explanation of the roles and responsibilities of those responsible for operation, maintenance, surveillance and emergency preparedness and response; how to develop and maintain essential information regarding the design of a facility; and how best to establish procedures for the safe operation, maintenance and surveillance of a facility, for meeting commitments to stakeholders and local communities, and for achieving continual improvement.

"The OMS guide is an excellent management tool that will help ensure that mining companies are meeting both government regulations and their own corporate policies for the safe operation, maintenance and surveillance of tailings and water management facilities," said Rick Siwik, director of environment, health and safety and reclamation for Noranda/Falconbridge. "Its user-friendly format will also assist us in developing site-specific OMS manuals at all of our tailings and water management facilities."

The guide was developed by a 22-member team of Canadian mining industry specialists and practitioners. Available in English, French and Spanish, it is posted on MAC's Web site, www.mining.ca. More information is available from Pierre Gratton of the Mining Association of Canada, 613/233-9392, ext 319, or Rick Siwik at Noranda/Falconbridge, 416/982-7308.

Table of Contents  | Top of Page

  Ecolog Network