SUSTAINABILITY Governance, standards and guidelines
Gold Fields fully supports the fact that tailings must be responsibly managed. Our vision and values underpin our desire to prevent impacts on human health and safety, the environment, and infrastructure.
The development and implementation of a tailings management system are essential to effective governance of tailings management, one of the foundations of safe tailings management, the implementation of best engineering practices, and integrated mine planning.
At Gold Fields, tailings management plans involve developing documents and plans related to tailings management and updating these documents and procedures as appropriate throughout the lifecycle, aligning with corporate policy. This includes developing and updating as appropriate:
Gold Fields is committed to an integrated approach to mine planning, which is essential to safe tailings management. Integrated mine planning involves the full integration of planning across the lifecycle of all aspects that can impact the project conception, design, construction, operation, and closure of tailings facilities, including:
Integrated mine planning includes developing and updating as appropriate:
At Gold Fields, performance evaluation includes results of surveillance and reviews, both internal and independent, to evaluate:
At Gold Fields, the results and recommendations arising from performance evaluations are documented and reported every quarter to senior management and the Board, as assurance is a critical component of performance evaluation.
Gold Fields has developed guidance notes that define the minimum requirements for:
Gold Fields is committed to the safe, stable, and sustainable operation of their TSFs, and to achieve this, the Group TSF Management Guideline has been converted to a Standard. The Group TSF Management Standard sets the minimum Gold Fields requirements for managing TSFs.
The purpose of the Standard is to define the minimum requirements for TSFs throughout their lifecycle, from early studies and site selection, through design, operation, and post-closure.
This Standard provides a framework for safe tailings facility management while affording the regions and sites flexibility regarding how best to achieve this goal. Unless otherwise specified, the requirements of the Standard are directed to the sites but, in many cases, will require significant external input from our Engineers of Record and specialist consultants.
The Standard is underpinned by 10 Topics comprising a list of requirements and deliverables. The 10 Topics are intended to facilitate improved risk management and TSF performance, achieve the design intent, and meet legal requirements and corporate policy.
The new Standard includes greater governance and accountability than was previously required.
This Standard comprises three parts, namely:
In addition, the management and Board of Gold Fields have a comprehensive Integrated and Combined Assurance process in place, which, in the case of TSFs, consists of a minimum 3-yearly independent review of all TSFs. The review covers all operational, sustainable development, and legal aspects.