TAILSAFE Sustainable Improvement in Safety of Tailings Facilities

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:   28/1/2003         Duration: 36 months         Project Type: Concerted Action
Contract Number: EVG1-CT-2002-00066
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Contaminated land-->Remediation options-->Passive and hydraulicContainment
Contaminated land-->Risk assessment-->Risk assessment overview
Contaminated land-->Risk management-->Risk management overview
Soil-->Soil quality
Project objectives:
TAILSAFE is a European research project. Its general objective is to develop and apply methods of parameter evaluation and measurement for the assessment 
and improvement of the safety state of tailings facilities, with particular attention to the stability of tailings dams and slurries, the special risks inherent
when such materials include toxic or hazardous wastes, and authorisation and management procedures for tailings facilities.
Project Summary:
To reduce the risk posed by tailings facilities, methods of parameter evaluation and measurement are being developed within TAILSAFE and applied for the detection, 
assessment and improvement of the safety state of tailings dams and ponds. Aspects of probabilistic stability analysis, water management involving paste
technology, non-destructive (NDT) and minimally intrusive testing methods and monitoring methods, and intervention and practical remediation options
are being considered. The results will be incorporated in a systematic risk reduction framework. The investigations are focussed on the structural parameters of tailings dams stability, their measurement, and their evaluation as regards risk factors,
with particular attention to: The stability of bodies of fine material and their liquefaction and mobilisation behaviour The special risks inherent when such materials include toxic or hazardous wastes Authorisation and management methods and procedures for tailings ponds and dams The project aims at advancing the state of the art of tailings facilities safety in that a comprehensive parameter framework will be established to enable
the systematic assembly and evaluation of parameters critical to tailings facilities safety. A wide range of parameters relating to design, materials, management,
regulation and authorisation will be included in this risk reduction framework, so as to allow relevant stakeholders a better understanding and control of
critical parameters for risk analysis. Special attention will be paid to pore pressure and piping, and methods for their measurement and monitoring developed
Achieved Objectives:
Although TAILSAFE primarily addresses European needs and priorities, and is based strongly on European case studies, the project builds on world-wide experience 
and scientific results, and hopes that much of its output will have world-wide applicability. Tailings from the mining and primary processing of metals, minerals and coal are in principle included within the scope of TAILSAFE. Due to the limitations
of any such research project, not all mineral tailings can be addressed in the same detail, but a representative range is intended. Industrial minerals, such
as aggregates and clays, are one important group of raw materials whose tailings will not be covered so fully by this project. For the avoidance of doubt, the TAILSAFE project does not seek to address the tailings produced by industrial processes other than mineral working and the
primary extraction/refinement of minerals: e.g. it does not deal with tailings from power generation or waste incineration (including ashes, shales and
flue dusts), from cement works, from chemical manufacturing processes (precipitates etc), or from food, agricultural or forestry production. However,
much in the project may be relevant to such tailings too, and the TAILSAFE parameter framework, a key output, is being designed so that its use could be readily
extended to a wider range of tailings. Finally, TAILSAFE does not cover other forms of waste from mining and minerals processing: e.g. dry tips, spoil tips, stockpiles, pit-stripping waste,
underground muck, or wastes and discards in temporary settling tanks within the processing plant.
Product Descriptions:
Available from: http://www.tailsafe.bam.de/project_resul ...  
List of Publications - updated March 2007  
Tailings Management Facilities - A State-of-the-Art Report  
Tailings Management Facilities - Risks and Reliability  
Tailings Management Facilities - Intervention Actions for Risk Reduction  
Design and Authorisation Procedures for Proposed Tailings Facilities  
Tailings Management Facilities - Water Management and the Use of Thickened Tailings  
Pilot-scale Hydraulic Transport Test System  
Pilot-Scale Slurry Thickener  
Tailings Management Facilities - Closure and Restoration Plans  
Tailings Management Facilities - Intervention and Remedial Actions  
Tailings Management Facilities - Legislation, Authorisation, Management, Monitoring and Inspection Practices  
Non-Destructive and Minimally Intrusive Methods for the Investigation and Monitoring of Tailings Impoundments  
Tailings Management Facilities - Catalogue of Site Characterisation Criteria  
The 'Tailsafe Resource', an online risk reduction tool implemented on an ASP server and hosted at http://www.tailsafe.net/. 
Additional Information:

Project Resources:

Sustainable Improvement in the Safety of Tailings Facilities - TAILSAFE
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 5
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  30/05/2007 11:17:00