File picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG  - Multinational mining company  Anglo American on Friday published details of its 91 managed tailings storage facilities (TSFs) and an additional 62 TSFs at non-managed joint venture operations in which it has an interest, as requested by the Church of England Pensions Board and the Swedish Council on Ethics for the AP Funds.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said the company had confidence in the integrity of its managed TSFs which were subject to the highest global safety and stewardship standards, using advanced technologies such as satellite monitoring, fibre optics and micro-seismic sensors.

"Looking to the future, we are working on a number of technologies that we expect to significantly reduce the volume of waste material we produce through our activities, and our ability to remove water from that material and store it in drier form – improving its stability and further reducing associated risks," he said.

"A number of these technologies also offer major energy and fresh water usage reductions for every ounce or tonne of metal or mineral we produce.”

Anglo American completely revised and updated its technical standard for TSF safety management in early 2014. The standard is updated as appropriate and goes beyond regulatory and other industry requirements in all host jurisdictions. 

The company said this mandatory global standard mitigated the long-recognised principal risk posed by TSFs, set minimum requirements for design criteria, monitoring, inspection and surveillance and was peer-reviewed by international specialists.

Anglo American has also received assurances from the operators of non-managed joint ventures in which it has an interest relating to the safety of TSFs at those operations.

Of the 91 TSFs managed by Anglo American, 40 are in active use, 33 are inactive or in care and maintenance, and 18 are closed or rehabilitated.

- African News Agency (ANA)