The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
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Committee members
  • Alastair Macfarlane (Chairperson)
  • Adelle Coetzee
  • John Wates
  • Guy Wiid
  • Dr Kym Morton
  • Luis Alberto Torres Cruz
  • Dr Graham Howell
  • Elias Matinde


The SAIMM has established a Tailings Storage Facilities Working Group in response to recent global tailings facility failures and increasing focus on Tailings Storage Facilities Management within the increasing focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters by investors, NGOs, Governments and other interested stakeholders.

Following failures at the Mount Polley dam in Canada in August 2014, the Mariana dam failure at the Samarco mine in November 2015 and the collapse of the tailings dam at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in the town of Brumadinho in January 2019, mining companies worldwide conducted reviews and audits of their facilities, and posted these on their websites.

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), of which most major mining companies are members, initiated a global project to develop a Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management which was published in August 2020, and which is linked to this website.

At approximately the same time, the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) initiated a project to develop a set of guidelines for tailings storage facilities. This is soon to be released.

Against this background, the Global Mining Professionals Alliance, of which SAIMM is a member, initiated a Global Action on Tailings group, in which the SAIMM participates.

The GMPA GAT group is an international Taskforce of experts representing each GMPA association working together to build awareness and knowledge of tailings management through information on design, operation, risk management and improvement opportunities, and education and professional development activities to enhance competencies in tailings management.

In addition, each GMPA organization has established specialist tailings committees providing guidance on conferences, online technical education, publications, as well as strategic input into industry reviews and consultations.

The SAIMM Tailings Group is such a group, which has terms of reference as attached to the webpage.

The current focus of the group is on the following.

  • Establishing a competency and qualifications working group to define professional roles, and the requirements in terms of qualifications, capabilities and registration
  • Defining professional ethics and behaviour in TSF management
  • Engaging with ICMM and ICOLD and translating standards and guidelines into local requirements and investigating whether a Southern African Code within SAMCODES is necessary, or if the update of SANS 10286 is sufficient
  • Engaging with DMRE
  • Liaising with research organisations to ensure collaboration and support
  • Researching best practice from audits
  • Engage with SAICE on update of SANS 10286
  • Participating in the development and publication of SME book, representing the interests of Southern Africa
  • Organising a regional tailings event.

The SAIMM working group is working closely with the South African Institute of Civil Engineers, specifically the SAICE Geotechnical division.