Torex Gold has initiated a gap analysis against the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) that was published in August 2020 by ICMM, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which will be completed by the end of 2021. The GISTM is being considered with a view to continuously improving our existing tailings management approach with the ultimate goal of zero harm to people and the environment.
Our filtered tailings storage facility was developed by internal and external experts. Torex has taken considerable care and expense to mitigate the potential for a tailings failure to negatively impact the surrounding environment, including the adjacent Balsas River and Presa Caracol reservoir.
Mitigating the risk to these waterways started with the design of a tailings storage facility to contain the material. In order to reduce the amount of water within the tailings, we filter our tailings in a process which reduces the moisture content to 17%. This conserves water, eliminates the need for tailing embankments and essentially eliminates the risk of dam failure.
Tailings are conveyed and stacked within the storage facility. A buttress of rock on the downstream side of the storage facility adds additional stability and safety. We have internal technical teams dedicated to monitoring the area daily, and their work is audited by external experts who inspect the site twice a year in both the wet and dry seasons. The facility is also inspected annually by an independent, third-party consultant.
The filtered tailings facility operated through all of 2020 with zero discharge to the downstream environment. In addition, lab results indicated no acid drainage throughout the year.