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Tailings management represents a significant capital and operating cost to mining operations. The need for a cost effective, environmentally sound and stable tailings storage facility (TSF) increasingly requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

WorleyParsons has significant experience in environmental, civil, geotechnical, mechanical and process engineering – the disciplines required to provide a full service tailored to meet project-specific tailings management challenges.  

The design and construction of TSFs principally requires the guidance of geotechnical personnel.    WorleyParsons has geotechnical expertise with significant TSF design and management experience from a variety of mineral processing applications such as alumina residue, base metals (copper, lead, zinc and sulphide nickel), coal, iron ore, magnetite, manganese,  laterite nickel, oil sands, precious metals (gold and PMGs) rare earths and vanadium.  Our personnel have the skills to carry out the following:

Planning and Approvals

  • Conceptual TSF designs
  • Prefeasibility and feasibility studies
  • Site selection options
  • Disposal options studies
  • Life of mine waste management planning
  • Regulatory approvals advice
  • Reports and submissions for regulator assessment and approvals
  • Geohazard and risk assessment

Geotechnical Investigation and Design

  • Geotechnical site investigation and site selection - foundations conditions; basin soils; basin in situ permeability; construction materials
  • Tailings storage facility (TSF) design -  embankment configuration/raise type; basin treatment design; underdrainage design; decant design; spillway design
  • Seismic hazard and liquefaction analysis
  • Water management design and planning - climatic analysis; leachate management; stormwater management
  • Tailings deposition modelling - stage storage calculations; filling curves; stage heights
  • Embankment stability modelling
  • Seepage modelling
  • TSF Closure/capping plan
  • Design drawing set
  • Bill of quantities
  • Cost estimates

Construction Services

Construction Monitoring/Quality Control

    • Embankment construction
    • Basin treatment
    • Liner installation

Operation and Performance

  • Advice on monitoring plan preparation – overall TSF operations
  • Embankment performance monitoring and review
  • Embankment design review and amendments (as required)

Auditing and Management Review

Auditing of operating and decommissioned TSFs against design requirements and regulatory requirements including: 

  • Engineering performance of embankments and decant systems
  • Insitu density of storage tailings and assessment of future storage capacity
  • Water management and recovery (decants and underdrainage system)
  • Environmental performance (groundwater monitoring)


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