SUSTAINABILITY Innovation and working with industry
Gold Fields is a major sponsor of AMIRA International’s P1217 “Evaluation of Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF) monitoring technologies” collaborative project.
AMIRA International’s research project P1217 will evaluate and document currently available technologies for monitoring the condition of Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs), complemented by a program of installing selected instrumentation and monitoring at a limited number of sponsor sites. In addition, a numerical model (the digital twin) will be developed to enable predictive scenario analyses.
Aside from detailing available (and emerging) technologies, the project will guide the need to develop novel instrumentation, e.g., for detecting the potential onset of static liquefaction, which current instrumentation cannot do.
Gold Fields conducted a technology review in 2019 to assess available TSF monitoring technologies that may apply to Gold Fields. This review indicated a significant amount of monitoring technology available, with varying levels of maturity and implementation experience. As a result, Gold Fields had an opportunity to supplement existing monitoring approaches and technologies.
The focus was to install these technologies, focusing on facilities with higher consequence categories. All sites have embraced and adopted the proposed technologies and are either investigating or implementing the technologies.
Gold Fields actively engages with the industry on this subject. For example, we are engaged in the ICMM Tailings Management Working Group, which works with members to adopt a more proactive approach to tailings management.
We are also engaged in the GeoStable Consortium, which was formed with our peers to investigate the commingling of tailings and waste rock.