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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: June 23rd 2003

:: Tailings and Water Management Guide  

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has unveiled A Guide to Developing an Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance (OMS) Manual for Tailings and Water Management Facilities, to assist the mining industry worldwide in ensuring the safety and integrity of its tailings and water management facilities.

The new guide complements MAC's A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities, published in 1998, which outlines safe and environmentally responsible management of tailings and water management facilities. Like the earlier guide, it will likely become the standard by which these facilities are managed across the country and around the globe.

"MAC's OMS guide is the most recent contribution by the Canadian mining industry to environmental and engineering excellence in tailings management and will take environmental performance in the industry to a new level," stated Gordon Peeling, President and CEO of MAC. "By helping to prevent dam failures, adoption of the OMS guide also means investing in the safety of local communities, in the industry's reputation and in shareholder value,"

The guide addresses a range of issues, including: how to prepare an OMS manual for a facility; identifying and defining the roles and responsibilities of individuals responsible for operation, maintenance, surveillance and emergency preparedness and response; outlining how essential information regarding the design of a facility is developed and maintained; and how to best establish procedures for the safe operation, maintenance and surveillance of a facility and for addressing commitments to stakeholders and local communities and for achieving continual improvement.

"The development of the OMS guide is an important step forward for the mining industry," added Les MacPhie of SNC-Lavalin Environment inc. "The very best in engineering knowledge and experience has contributed to its development."

"The OMS guide is an excellent management tool that will help ensure that mining companies are meeting both government regulations and their own corporate policies for the safe operation, maintenance and surveillance of tailings and water management facilities," added Rick Siwik, Director Environment, Health and Safety and Reclamation, Noranda/Falconbridge Inc. "Its user-friendly format will also assist us in developing site-specific OMS manuals at all of our tailings and water management facilities."

The guide was developed by a 22-member team of Canadian mining industry specialists and practitioners. It is available in French, English and Spanish and is posted on MAC's web site (www.mining.ca).



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