How is the safety of tailings dams maintained?

The provincial government through the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia (HSRC), requires:

  • Tailings dams are inspected annually, Dam Safety Inspection (DSI), with reports submitted to and reviewed by the Chief Inspector of Mines
  • Dam Safety Reviews are required every five years for dams with a significant, high, very high or extreme classification. These reviews are comprehensive and follow the Association of Profession Engineers of BC (APEG BC) Guidelines[1] and the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) Guidelines.
  • All TSFs are required to have an Operational, Maintenance and Surveillance (OMS) Manual that prescribes the responsibilities of all parties associated with the tailings dam and documents dam safety procedures for monitoring and response to monitoring.