Due to the nature of Saracen’s operations, the two largest waste streams are waste rock and tailings. Other waste streams include non–putrescible waste including packaging, redundant furniture and electrical equipment, tyres, scrap metal, cardboard and plastic packaging, paper, bottles, cans, used hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon contained materials and putrescible wastes from camps and offices. Each waste stream is separated and recycled or disposed of in compliance with relevant regulations.
Open pit and underground operations produce waste rock as part of the mining cycle. For open pits, waste rock dumps are designed in line with materials characteristics and approved under the Mining Act 1978 and constructed to this design so they can be successfully rehabilitated and any deleterious materials are encapsulated. For underground operations waste rock is largely stockpiled in-pit or kept underground as stope backfill to reduce cost.
Tailings are the ground waste rock slurry mix formed by the processing and extraction of gold from ore. This slurry is deposited in purpose built and fully engineered facilities called TSFs. The water in the TSF is collected and pumped back to the processing plant for re-use.
Our tailings dams are independently audited and inspected by specialist engineers annually to ensure compliant operation and structural integrity.