Robust Construction and Quality Assurance culture for Tailings Storage Facility – Equally Important as robust design and review practice

Governance and management of tailings

Anjan Kundu


After multiple tailings dam failures in recent times, the owner organisations have made efforts to step up the governance systems to industry best practise in terms of the design and operational management areas.  The measures include but not limited to site investigation, rigorous peer review (both internal and external), certification through appropriately qualified personnel and improvement in operational management practise.

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 are mostly irreversible and sometimes pose 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 about some lessons learned and highlight the importance of appropriate processes to achieve a successful construction regime. The process to include a robust quality control/ quality assurance process, develop a team of designer-constructor-owner with the right skills and technical understandings and robust documentation of the entire construction process from Day 1 to the end date of construction.

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