The information on this webpage and provided in each factsheet and in the TSF Register (including but not limited to the facts, figures, accompanying explanations and descriptions) has been prepared by Glencore in good faith and in accordance with the methodology set out on this webpage. It should be read in conjunction with the important notice at the end of this webpage concerning this webpage and the factsheets for each Tailings Storage Facility which can be downloaded from the webpage.

Message from the CEO

Over recent years, the mining industry has experienced several tailings dam failures resulting in catastrophic loss of life and environmental damage. At Glencore, we recognise the possibility of a tailings storage facility (TSF) failure as a material risk with the potential to result in devastating impacts to the surrounding communities and environment.

We are committed to the responsible management of our TSFs to prevent impacts on health, safety, the environment, communities, cultural heritage, and infrastructure. As part of this commitment, we publicly disclose information on our TSFs on our website.  

Our approach to TSF and dam management is based on a rigorous TSF Framework and an ethos of continuous improvement. Our goal of safe and responsible tailings management requires us to implement the commitments and requirements detailed in our applicable policies and standards, which are supported by comprehensive governance and assurance. 

Through our membership of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), we participated in the development of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) and are committed to its implementation. Today, in accordance with Principle 15 of the GISTM (Publicly disclose and provide access to information about the tailings facility to support public accountability), we are disclosing information on our TSFs with an ‘Extreme’ and ‘Very High’ Consequence Classification. This detailed disclosure demonstrates our commitment to providing information to actively engage with interested stakeholders.  

Our TSFs with ‘Extreme’ or ‘Very High’ Consequence Classifications undergo independent assurance that includes a technical review of the design, construction, operation, closure, and management of TSFs. The assurance findings, as well as evolving regulatory requirements, improvements in climatic modelling and technical developments, support our ongoing risk assessment and mitigation process.  

We are committed to designing, building and operating our TSFs to address failure risks associated with extreme flood events or earthquakes, and in addition, improving TSFs acquired through acquisitions that do not meet our expectations. In response to our risk assessments and dam assurance programme, we undertake TSF upgrade projects, which include constructing new dams, emergency spillways and buttresses. We will continue to upgrade our TSFs to address identified risks and to implement the practices prescribed by the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) and the GISTM. 

We will continue to engage on our approach to responsible tailings management with interested stakeholders, as well as update our disclosure on an annual basis. 

Gary Nagle - CEO - August 2023

In 2016, Glencore published its first Tailings Storage Facility Protocol, setting out our commitment to the responsible management of TSFs. In the same year, we also launched our health, safety, environment, community, and human rights assurance programme, requiring independent dam safety audits of the design, construction, operation, closure plans and management of all TSFs in our portfolio. These dam safety audits aim to ensure the alignment of our industrial assets’ tailings management systems with the Glencore Tailings Storage Facility Framework (TSF Framework). The findings of these dam safety audits are reported to Glencore’s senior management, including the respective Accountable Executive, and our Board HSEC Committee.

Starting in 2019, we participated in the Global Tailings Review (GTR), an initiative co-convened by the ICMM, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). In 2019, we published our first TSF disclosure in response to the Mine and Tailings Waste Initiative request.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement in the management of TSFs, beginning in 2019, we updated our Tailings Storage Facility and Dam Management Standard (TSF and Dam Management Standard) to consider the CDA’s Dam Safety Guidelines and the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD). In 2021, we further updated our TSF and Dam Management Standard in response to the GISTM. As part of this update, we committed to upgrade our facilities to reflect international best practice and address risks associated with extreme flood events or earthquakes. 

At our sites in the Peruvian Andes, we constructed and upgraded spillways to address risks associated with overtopping during extreme flooding events. In Canada, we completed the construction of the new Narrows Dam in 2022, to reduce the potential effects of any breach associated with dam failure. In Kazakhstan, we began a significant programme of works to upgrade our TSFs to address risks associated with potential earthquake events. Since 2019, we have placed over 15 million tonnes of rock to buttress TSFs at many of our sites. 

In 2020, we entered into an agreement with a provider of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) high-resolution satellite monitoring for over half of our TSFs, prioritised based on the GISTM’s Consequence Classification. Since January 2023, nearly all our TSFs with an ‘Extreme’ or ‘Very High’ Consequence Classification are monitored using InSAR. The data is available via a cloud-based platform, ensuring its continuous availability for review and analysis, as well as supporting our operations in making informed decisions in the event of any anomalous movement.

To support implementation of our TSF and Dam Management Standard and the GISTM, we developed our Tailings Manager Academy (TMA) which offers training on technical, environmental, and social areas of tailings management. 

As part of Glencore’s commitment to human rights and stakeholder engagement we seek to manage human rights risks at each stage of our business and, for industrial assets, at every stage of their lifecycle, from exploration through to closure.

We recognise that robust and respectful engagement with our stakeholders is essential for our industrial assets to maintain their licence to operate. Through building constructive and transparent relationships with our stakeholders, we aim to strengthen our approaches to improve our operating processes and performance. 

Most recently we rolled out a global Geographical Information System (GIS), capturing environmental, social, and local economic knowledge for all regions in which Glencore has TSFs. We continue to maintain and update this information when there is a Material (as defined in the GISTM glossary) change in the environment surrounding our TSFs. 

Tailings are a by-product of mining, consisting of the processed rock or soil left over from the separation of the commodities of value from the rock or soil within which they occur.  

TSFs are specially engineered and managed structures that contain the tailings produced by metallurgical processes at mines, concentrators and/or smelters. Although tailings may be stored in mined-out underground mines, we refer to TSFs as those structures on the surface or in open pit mines where the combined water and solids volume is more than 30,000m3 or are at least 2.5 metres high measured from the crest to the elevation of the toe of the structure. Where the Consequence Classification of the facility is ‘High’, ‘Very High’ or ‘Extreme’, a structure is considered a TSF regardless of its size.  

Where TSFs are formed by dam(s), they are typically constructed using one of four dam construction methods based on the predominant raising method: upstream, downstream, centreline, filtered. In some cases, a hybrid of these methods may be applied. 

Upstream

Upstream tailings dams are built progressively upstream of the starter dam (in green) by controlled deposition of tailings into the dam for support.

Centreline

Centreline tailings dams are raised progressively while maintaining the original centreline of the starter dam.

Downstream

Downstream tailings dams are raised progressively downstream of the starter dam using an internal drain or filter.

Filtered

Filtered tailings dams consist of compacted and uncompacted tailings, with the compacted tailings typically forming the containment structure.

In 2020, the GTR, made up of the ICMM, UNEP and PRI, published the new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). Glencore participated in the development of the GISTM through our membership of the ICMM.  

On 5 August 2020, all ICMM members, including Glencore, committed to implementing the GISTM. As contemplated by the ICMM Conformance Protocols – Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management of May 2021, in August 2023, we reported on the conformance with the GISTM for our TSFs with an ‘Extreme’ or ‘Very High’ Consequence Classification and by August 2025 we will further report on our TSFs with ’High’, ’Significant‘ and ‘Low’ Consequence Classifications. 

The GISTM follows a logical sequence arranged around six broad topic areas supported by 15 Principles and 77 requirements (as defined in the GISTM glossary) summarised in the figure below.