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How We Manage Our Tailings Facilities

Tailings management is a critical part of managing the risks of the waste produced from the mining process. These risks can range from potential consequences of a tailings storage facility failure through to groundwater impact due to seepage.

The design of a tailings dam is influenced by many factors including proximity to employees, communities, infrastructure, the geological conditions as well as the deposition of the tailings.

MRL is committed to operating in line with the 15 principles and 77 requirements set out by the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) published by the International Council on Mining and Metals, the United Nations Environment Program, and the Principles for Responsible Investment. The principles in the GISTM comprises goals to “achieve the ultimate goal of zero harm to people and the environment with zero tolerance for human fatality”.

We regularly review our approach to tailings dams and take into account learnings from others. The design of our tailings dams is based on the potential risk to the environment and social responsibility, to ensure we minimise and control any potential impact that may be caused by the construction, operation and post closure of the tailings facilities.

We currently have two active tailings dams (details below) and we currently manage three tailings dams at the Wodgina mine site which are in care and maintenance. All are located in remote areas, and are significant distances from local communities and infrastructure.

We construct, operate and decommission our dam facilities in a safe and compliant manner;  consistent with regulatory requirements, applicable guidelines and standards. This applies throughout the dam’s life cycle including planning and site location, design and construction, operation and preventative maintenance, decommissioning, closure, rehabilitation and post-closure monitoring and maintenance.

Current tailings dams:

Location Type
Mt Marion mine site In-pit tailings dam
Wodgina mine site Downstream lift construction

More information on our tailings dams can be found in our:

2021 Sustainability Report
2021 Sustainability Performance Data Tables – Tailings Facility Register.