Transforming mining:

TAILING PROGRAM


Our Tailing Program, “Tranque”, is a private-public initiative seeking to contribute with safe and reliable tailings deposits operations. It develops tools to improve monitoring of the physical stability and potential impact on the surrounding waters, delivering quality and timely information to authorities, mining companies, and communities. It improves communication between parties as well as the response to emergency situations.

In 2018 this initiative rose to a new level when it was factored in the National Tailings Policy announced by the Ministry of Mining; it has established the implementation of tools to manage active deposits by creating the National Observatory of Tailings Deposits.

Chile is the third country in the world with the largest amount of tailings, with a total of 742 in 2019.

WHAT ARE WE FACING?

  • 742

    In Chile there are a total of 742 tailings deposits.

  • 104

    Active deposits

  • 463

    Inactive deposits

  • 173

    Abandoned

  • 2

    Under construction

  • According to the last update dated April – 2019 of the Tailings Deposits Registry of Sernageomin (the Chilean National Geology and Mining Service), currently in Chile there are a total of 742 tailings deposits, of which 104 correspond to active deposits, 463 to inactive, 173 to abandoned, and 2 under construction.
  • Of the 104 active deposits, 21 belong to the large mining industry, 35 to the medium mining industry, and 48 to the small mining industry.
  • In addition, 214 deposits correspond to upstream built tailing dams, a method considered less safe, and whose construction is prohibited in our country since 2007. These figures place the country as the third with the most tailings deposits in the world, after China and the United States.
  • The 104 active deposits add up to approximately 9.6 billion tons of tailings deposited as of this date according to the latest update of Sernageomin’s registry, and the tonnage approved for these deposits would reach 21 billion in total.
  • Likewise, and according to the Ministry of Mining, in 2026 there will be over 915 million tons per year, a 74% increase in the generation of tailings compared to 2014 (525 million tons per year).
  • In this context, the development of solutions that strengthen the management of tailings deposits, to improve the control of their performance and thus their relationship with their environment, fostering an industry that applies world class sustainable practices is unavoidable.

TECHNOLOGICAL IMPACT

  • Monitoring Platform

    Development of a platform to monitor the performance of tailings deposits

  • Big Data Analysis

    Efficient and reliable model of Big Data analysis

  • Development

    of knowledge to interpret information

  • R & D & i and local suppliers

    Fostering R & D & i and local suppliers that are associated with technological challenges

  • Pilot Program

    Implementation of a pilot program at the El Mauro tailings deposit of Minera Los Pelambres

OPERATIONAL IMPACT

  • Availability of information

    to promote and develop cost-efficient measures to design, operate, and close down tailings deposits, ensuring proper performance

  • Local Suppliers

    Contribution with the consolidation and generation of local suppliers of the industry that will be global leaders in matters of tailings deposits monitoring

SOCIAL IMPACT

  • Transparent Operation

    Promote a transparent operation that generates reliance and minimizes possible conflicts

  • Information for decision making

    Provide reliable and timely information for decision-making in case of potential emergencies

  • Collaboration

    Promote future of mining by collaborating with practices that improve the relationship with the environment

  • Prevention Model

    with a prevention model of possible human and environmental losses, in the event of a catastrophic failure

Program's Roadmap

  • 01
    April 2019

    In CESCO's Third International Seminar on Mining and Sustainability, the consolidation of the National Tailings Policy advances with the goal of establishing the National Tailings Observatory, under the responsibility of Sernageomin.

  • 02
    February 2019

    Work of incorporating small-scale mining begins with onsite visits to gather information and analyze implementation strategies.

  • 03
    December 2018

    Start-up of the online tailings deposit monitoring system at the El Mauro dam of Minera Los Pelambres.

  • 04
    November 2018

    Launch of publication "Progress and Challenges for the Management of Tailings Deposits in Chile"

  • 05
    September 2018

    80% of the medium-sized mining sector has been included in the Program, developing information gathering and dissemination activities.

  • 06
    August 2018

    With the incorporation of INRIA Chile, programming of the information management platform begins.

  • 07
    August 2018

    The Ministry of Mining announces the National Tailings Policy, with the inclusion of online monitoring of tailings deposits developed by the Tranque Program.

  • 08
    March 2018

    Version 1 of the Physical Stability Index is validated.

  • 09
    December 2017

    With ONEMI and ENAMI's official incorporation, the governance of the initiative with 22 institutions is implemented.

  • 10
    November 2017

    Version 1 of the EMAC index (Evaluation and Monitoring of Surrounding Waters) is validated.


Our commitment is global. This initiative contributes to:

Partners

This is a public-private initiative under the aegis of the Programa Nacional de Minería Alta Ley; it is co-designed and implemented by Fundación Chile and its strategic partners Corfo, Ministry of Mining, SERNAGEOMIN, ONEMI, SMA, DGA, Antofagasta Minerals, BHP, CODELCO, ENAMI, SONAMI, INRIA Chile, AMTC and Valor Compartido.

Updates

Opinion column

Management for tailings deposits: learning from experie...