Slimes Management Guideline

By on October 8, 2020

GAVIN MOREIRA, CMPA Member Services Manager reports on the development of the latest CMPA publication – Slimes Management Guideline.

In the 2020-21 financial year several CMPA Publications will be completed ready for Members to update their libraries. The first of these is Issue 1 – Slimes Management Guideline.

A Slimes Management Workshop was held back in October 2018 in Waurn Ponds with approximately 34 attendees. Throughout the last eighteen months the Secretariat has been working with Members and Suppliers providing content and reviewing drafts to come up with the finished product. Thank you to the contributions by Local Mix Quarries, BCA Consulting, Geofabrics Australasia, Lincom Group, Quarry Wise and our
writer David McKelvie of Safemix.

The CMPA would also like to acknowledge the Earth Resources Regulators (ERR) branch of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resource (DEDJTR) for the provision of information used in developing this guideline extracted from their document titled “Technical Guideline Design and Management of Tailings Storage Facilities 2017”.

The guideline was launched at the Slimes Management Webinar back in August 2020, where again 34 attendees were present online.

The objective of this Slimes Management Guideline is to assist CMPA members in ensuring that all health, safety and environmental risks associated with the generation and controls of slimes and the operation and rehabilitation of a slimes dam are reduced so far as is reasonably practicable.

This Guideline:

  • Provides contemporary information specific to the management of slimes and the safe and environmental operation of slimes dams;
  • Outlines processes that can be adopted to establish and implement slimes management procedures and practices;
  • Offers a Slimes Management Plan (SMP) template to assist in meeting the requirements of your Work Plan as required under Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990.

The CMPA recommends the implementation of a SMP to ensure all of the requirements are met. The SMP provides the basis to ensure Work Plan objectives are converted into appropriate onsite actions including:

  • Objective and scope
  • Management and worker roles and responsibilities
  • Hazard identification and control
  • Description of methods for slimes conveyance, e.g. pipelines, open drains
  • Description of slimes treatment, e.g. dam structures, process, alternative technologies
  • General operational procedures
  • Emergency response plan
  • Incident reporting and management
  • Rehabilitation plan

In a typical format, a Slimes Management Plan needs only to be 6-8 pages, and supported by the various checklists, TARP plans etc. to make it a useable document, it does not need to be wordy, just straight up factual bullet points.

It is to be used by the site workers, and must be in their own language, easily understood. The guideline contains a definition of terms section and the following attachments are available in electronic format from the CMPA.

  • (A) Slimes Dam Inspection Checklist;
  • (B) Emergency Response Procedure Template;
  • (C) Trigger Action Response Plan (TARP) Template;
  • (D) Slimes Management Plan Template.

The publication can be purchased through the Secretariat or on the CMPA website https://cmpavic.asn.au

CMPA would like to thank those that contributed to the Guideline and would appreciate feedback on this document that will be considered when next issued.

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