MAC releases second version of the OMS Guide


The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) released the second edition of its Developing an Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance Manual for Tailings and Water Management Facilities (the OMS Guide) on March 5, 2019. The OMS Guide was first released in 2003.

The revised OMS Guide provides strengthened guidance on the development of site-specific OMS manuals. Specifically, the second edition of the OMS Guide:

  • Provides a mechanism for the effective implementation of a tailings management system
  • Provides a mechanism to meet tailings management performance objectives and manage risk
  • Supports effective decision-making for responsible tailings management

MAC also published Version 3.1 of A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities (the Tailings Guide). The Tailings Guide was first published in 1998 and the third edition was released in 2017.

Version 3.1 provides stronger and more detailed guidance for emergency preparedness.

“Our industry understands the great responsibility that comes with ensuring tailings are being managed in the most effective way and MAC’s revised OMS Guide represents an important step in the continual improvement of tailings management,” said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of MAC. “The OMS Guide, alongside the updated Tailings Guide, will prove to be an invaluable tool in minimizing harm and constitutes a best practice document that can be used in the responsible management of tailings anywhere in the world.”

In the same week, the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance (GMPA) announced the Global Action on Tailings initiative, a collaboration between leading international professional mining and metallurgy organizations, including CIM, to tackle challenges surrounding tailings.

In addition to examining tailings from the perspective of disposal and closure, the initiative seeks to advance discussions and solutions relating to tailings management, tailings reprocessing/repurposing and ultimately, moving towards tailings elimination.

Recent events involving the Brumadinho dam disaster in Brazil have underscored the urgent need for effective tailings management.