HomeEnvironmentWebinar recording: Should Upstream Tailings Storage Facilities be banned?

Webinar recording: Should Upstream Tailings Storage Facilities be banned?

Upstream constructed TSF’s have been banned in Chile, Peru and Brazil and there are many other jurisdictions where such designs may not be accepted by Authorities, especially in wet climates and in highly seismically active areas. 

However, in Southern Africa, in semi-arid climates with low seismicity, upstream TSF’s are the dominant wall raising method.  This is a very cost-effective method of using the tailings to impound itself, where perimeter deposition results in a segregated beach of coarser tailings in the wall zone, and finer tailings and water in the basin.

These have proven to be stable facilities when constructed within design limits, such as low rates of rising with minimal storage of water in the basin.  In other parts of the world, upstream TSF’s make use of compacted wall raises to progressively impound the tailings.  These too have been successfully used in most cases.

Gain insight from the expert panel as they discuss if Upstream Tailings Storage Facilities should be banned.

Listen to this discussion to find out:

  • If the risks of designing and operating upstream TSF’s now too high?
  • If so, how will the costs of centre-line or downstream TSF’s affect the viability of operational and/or new Mines?


Andrew Copeland | Director | Knight Piésold South Africa

Andries Strauss |Manager: Mine Residue section | Knight Piésold South Africa

Ross Cooper | General Manager: Technical | Fraser Alexander (Pty) Ltd, South Africa

Mike Smith | Consulting Engineer