Tag Archives: Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management

Synspective and Insight Terra team up to address potential mine-related disasters

Synspective, a Tokyo-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite data and solutions provider, and Insight Terra, a London-based start-up providing a cloud based environmental and infrastructure risk management platform and solutions, have entered into a strategic partnership to deliver a new space-enabled data and monitoring solution for the mining industry.

The solution uses satellites and earth observation coupled with ground sensors to monitor mine tailings facilities.

Synspective and Insight Terra will work together to provide an integrated product offering combining Insight Terra’s cloud-based IoT Insight Platform with Synspective’s leading-edge analytical models of SAR data for the mining and other related industries. The integrated solution allows for the fusion of near real-time ground truth and earth observation data for proactive monitoring and alerting, the companies said.

Insight Terra’s Tailings Insight is currently deployed with a number of global mining companies for tailings dam monitoring.

Synspective develops and operates high-frequency, high-resolution SAR satellites called “StriX” to provide high-quality data sets and solution services. The company has already placed three satellites into targeted orbit while planning to establish the constellation of 30 satellites and an analytics platform by late 2020s.

”The integration of SAR data gathered by Synspective’s growing constellation of StriX series satellites will provide powerful earth observation capabilities to the Tailings Insight application,” they said. “This cutting-edge technology can be utilised to monitor ground movement and land deformation that are risk indicators for potential failures of tailings facilities, mine walls and water dams, among others.”

The companies will initially focus on the global mining industry, saying the Tailings Insight solution including new InSAR capabilities will be a leap forward for mining operators, investors and regulators seeking to monitor and mitigate potential mine-related disasters affecting people, communities and the environment.

The combined solution is, the companies say, aligned with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) promulgated in 2020 by the International Council on Mining and Metals, the United Nations Environmental Program and Principles for Responsible Investment. The GISTM requires mines with high-risk tailings facilities, both active and closed, to comply by August 2023.

Polymetal 2020 profits rise as it accelerates ESG efforts

Polymetal recorded a strong set of financials in 2020, with its revenue, adjusted EBITDA and net earnings metrics all benefitting from higher production volumes and commodity prices.

Revenue increased by 28% year-on-year to $2.87 billion, adjusted EBITDA rose 57% to $1.69 billion and net earnings hit a record $1.09 billion in 2020.

The company’s 2020 gold-equivalent output amounted to 1.56 Moz, a 4% increase year-on-year and 4% above the original production guidance of 1.5 Moz. Strong contributions from its Kyzyl, Varvara and Albazino mines offset a planned grade decline at Voro, as well as lower production at Svetloye, the company said.

While production rose, the company’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduced by 4%, Polymetal said. It attributed this to energy efficiency initiatives, switching its mining fleet to electric vehicles, a shift from diesel to grid energy sources and green energy contracts.

Back in December, SMT Scharf AG signed an agreement with Polymetal to develop and produce battery-electric powered LHDs and mid-range underground trucks as prototypes for its gold and silver mines, with these units to be delivered to the company by October 2021.

Polymetal’s environmental, social and governance efforts did not stop there.

In 2020, the company invested $29 million at its Omolon hub in the Magadan region of Russia. This capital expenditure was mainly related to the construction of a dry tailings storage facility and engineering and preparatory works for a 2.5 MW solar plant (due to come online this year). This will be joined by another 5-10 MW solar facility at its Kyzyl operation (Kazakhstan) in 2022.

On its other tailings facilities, Polymetal said: “We operate eight tailings dams in Russia and Kazakhstan; each is rigorously monitored daily. We are confident that any emergency dam failure would have no impact on local communities and employees.

“We welcome the new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and have committed to achieving compliance in all operations by 2023.”

In addition to state authority inspections of these facilities, the company conducted an independent third-party audit of its Mayskoye (Chukotka, Russia) tailings site, which was carried out virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions, by Knight Piésold Ltd. “To further improve tailings safety and minimise the risk of the possibility of dam failure, we are shifting towards dry stack storage methods,” it said.

“Such facilities are already in operation at our Amursk and Voro (pictured filter press) mines, and will be extended to Omolon (2021), Nezhda (2021), POX-2 (2022), Dukat (2024) and Veduga (2025).”