Tailings Management Facilities
SERABI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFE TAILINGS FACILITY MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS TAILINGS GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK.
As a responsible mining company, Serabi has committed to observe the standards set by the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (“GISTM”) with the objective to cause no harm to people or the environment through tailings facility design, operation and closure. We have commenced a systematic review of our tailings governance and management framework against the requirements of the GISTM targeting compliance by the end of December 2023. This timeline is designed to ensure that the Group’s tailings storage facility (“TSF”) at Coringa is both fully operational and in compliance with GISTM.
In May 2019,Serabi disclosed information about the TSFs operated by the Group at that time in response to a questionnaire received from the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative. These responses can be accessed using the following link – https://bit.ly/3JvFpOz
Our TSFs are designed and operated to meet all Brazilian legislative requirements. In addition to experienced in-house personnel all designs and test-work is subject to detailed independent third-party review using accredited Brazilian technical consultants, as well as regular inspection and review by Brazilian regulatory bodies. Through compliance with legislative requirements and adoption of appropriate internationally recognised standards the Group is able to ensure structural stability, human safety and environmental protection, whilst maintaining efficient and responsible production.
Recent Changes to Tailings Management Facilities
Since 2018 the Group has retained the services of Geoestável Consultoria e Projetos (“Geoestável”) as its technical consultancy to advise, provide assistance on design and structural integrity, and provide independent technical assessments and compliance certifications to the Brazilian authorities. Geoestável work alongside the Group’s own Engineer of Record (“EoR”) who has day to day responsibility for the oversight and safe operation of the Group’s TSF.
Key changes that the Group has completed subsequent to the initial questionnaire are as follows:
- A raising of the original dam 16 wall was removed to ensure that dam 16 was categorised as a downstream dam. The dam itself has been excavated to maintain the tailings storage capacity of the facility. Dams 16 and 17 are both categorised as downstream dams.
- The slope of the walls of dams 16 and 17 has been decreased with additional reinforcement and buttressing to decrease the risk of any potential structural failure.
- Dams 14 and 15 are no longer being used for dry stacking and a new stacking area has been designed and approved by the Brazilian authorities providing tailings storage for dried tailings for at least the next 10 years of operations at current rates.
- Dams 16 and 17 have been categorised into the lowest category of structural failure by the Brazilian authorities.
- The last independent Dam Safety report was completed and submitted in September 2021 and confirmed the structural integrity of Dams 16 and 17 and that their construction was in full compliance with Brazilian legislation and any additional demands /requests made by the relevant Brazilian authorities. Every 15 days an inspection report is submitted by Serabi’s EoR to the Brazilian regulatory authorities. At the end of March 2022 (and annually thereafter), Serabi is obliged by law to present an internally prepared Stability Declaration Report to the regulatory authorities and in September 2022 (and annually thereafter) Serabi is obliged to present a Stability Declaration Report prepared by an accredited independent third party.
- Serabi has developed an emergency action plan in the event of any potential breach of its TSF. The plan is communicated to all employees and contractors and emergency drills are held regularly. The emergency response plan is reviewed internally at least annually.
Coringa Gold Project
In light of the concerns raised by the Brumadinho and Samarco tailings dam failures that occurred in Brazil in recent years, the Group took the decision with regard to the design of its Coringa Gold Project to incorporate a filtration solution into the process design allowing the operation to effectively dispense with a conventional wet tailings facility and instead create dedicated dry stack areas for the storage and ultimate remediation of the mine tailings. The Group has undertaken full geotechnical studies in compliance with Brazilian legislation to ensure the integrity of the site chosen for the dry stack area. A small conventional wet tailings dam will be constructed to act as a stand-by facility in the event of exceptional climatic conditions or unavailability of the filtration facility.