Tailings management

Tailings storage facilities are used to store water and waste that come as by products from the mining process and therefore are an inevitable by-product of gold ore mining. Tailing materials consist of finely ground rock particles and reagent residues, necessary for extracting gold, and reclaimed process water, which is used for their hydraulic transportation.

Since contaminating the environment with these components could significantly impact a region’s ecology, we pay special attention to tailings safety. Polyus has a clean track-record of safety at its tailings dams, with no hazardous incidents related to their integrity and stability.

Polyus strives to minimize any tailings-related environmental risks. The company’s tailings are stored in remote, inaccessible, or sparsely populated areas. No residential settlements or production facilities are located in potentially dangerous areas near tailings.

Polyus operates a tailings safety monitoring system at all of its facilities. This system encompasses internal industrial and environmental controls, as well as external controls from state supervision services and independent consulting organizations. In addition, at least once a year, representatives from the internal audit function and environmental specialists from the Polyus HSE&SD team conduct inspections of the exploitation safety of tailings.

In accordance with government regulations, we have established mandatory safety criteria for each tailings dump. These criteria have been approved by the respective government bodies.

Polyus also monitors international best practices in this field and has developed its own risk and control procedure matrices related to tailings management.

Up to date Polyus operates six existing Tailings Storage Facilities:

Name Location Current Volume
in mln m3
Planned Storage Volume
in m3 (in 5 years)
TSF on Latyshsky Stream Kuranakh 93.94 105
Flotation TSF on Kadalikan Stream Verninskoye 11.22 21.22
Hydrometallurgical TSF (area 2) Verninskoye 0.19 0.27 (planned to be operated
until June 2021)
TSF of the mills 1, 2, 3 Olimpiada 83.53 135
TSF of the mill 4 Blagodatnoye 39.5 82.10
Temporary TSF of the mill
on Intrigan stream
Natalka 7.38 26.7

Polyus also has six non-operational Tailing Storage Facilities.

As an ICMM member, Polyus fully supports the ICMM Position Statement on Tailings Governance as well as was very active in developing the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management.

More details on Polyus’ tailings management are presented in a special report on safety of tailings storage facilities.

See also