What are tailings?
Tailings are the materials left over following the processing of mined ore to separate the valuable minerals from the host rock.
Tailings are not the same as waste rock. Waste rock is the material that surrounds the orebody and is displaced during mining but is not processed.
Processing involves the crushing and grinding of the mined ore into fine particles and then mixing with water and other agents to facilitate the extraction of the valuable minerals.
At FGM, the tailings mixture is dewatered to the extent possible and then either combined with a binding agent to create paste fill (used to backfill underground voids), or stored in a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).
What is a TSF?
A TSF is a purposely designed, engineered and managed structure to permanently store mine tailings.
FGM’s TSFs are built and operated to specifications that are tailored to the physical nature of the tailings material and other factors including the local climate, topography, geological setting and seismicity.
FGM utilises surface and in-pit tailings storage facilities for tailings impoundment.
TSF guidelines and construction
FGM’s TSFs are designed, constructed and operated in accordance with the the required guidelines and standards as set by Earth Resources Regulation and the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD).
Agnico Eagle also adopts a strong governance model in relation to safe and responsible tailings management, with internal standards that meet or exceed regulatory requirements and industry standard practices or guidance.
TSF construction methods adopted at FGM include upstream, centreline and downstream. The TSFs are constructed using a liner in accordance with nominated criteria, as designed by an appropriately qualified third-party dam engineer.
Agnico Eagle Fosterville acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungurung Peoples of the Kulin Nation, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.