Global Research Consortium on Tailings

The Global Research Consortium on Tailings brings together the world’s leading thinkers: researchers, practitioners, industry professionals, regulators, civil society and community representatives to develop transdisciplinary knowledge-solutions to address the technical, social, environmental and economic risks of tailings.

The vision of the Consortium is a global multi-party collaborative initiative with substantial resources and capability to build, share and network knowledge.

The Global Research Consortium on Tailings will:

  • extract value from existing knowledge
  • prioritise research in areas that require collective effort
  • support evidence-based policy-making and practice
  • contribute to increased education and communication between all stakeholders
  • support the implementation of existing and new initiatives

Activities include:

  • facilitating dialogue between researchers, practitioners and those impacted by tailings
  • collating the state of the art of global research and practice
  • defining an agreed program of applied research with consortium members addressing the critical knowledge gaps
  • creating a forum for knowledge exchange and research translation with industry, government and civil society
  • incubating innovations and ideas, seed research and undertake feasibility studies to implement innovations
  • growing a portfolio of research solutions

The Consortium will not:

  • duplicate or compete with the work of individual research groups
  • promote one research group over another
  • create additional silos or barriers to the uptake of innovative research and practice

Get Involved 

Are you a researcher, practitioner, policymaker, manager or advocate working on tailings or mine waste?

Express interest in joining the consortium

Keep up to date about the Global Research Consortium on Tailings

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Learn More

The University of Queensland invites discussion about the tailings challenges facing the industry and the research platforms required to develop game changing solutions. We are interested in developing a global research consortium, promoting collaborative research and trusted partnerships between individuals and institutions with a track record in tailings.

Towards a Global Research Consortium on Tailings: Concept Note (March 2019)

Global Research Consortium on Tailings: Overview (June 2019)

Who has expressed interest?

Areas of focus

Tailings Production

  • Dewatering of wet tailings by thickening or filtration
  • Coarse-grained processing and the reduced production of tailings
  • Dry-processing
  • De-sulphurisation and the removal of environmentally sensitive elements and compounds
  • Cost and other drivers of tailings production
  • Optimisation of rheology, mineral recovery, water and energy inputs, economics, AMD prevention, rehabilitation and the social outcomes of tailings
  • Reprocessing
  • Re-use of tailings

Tailings Storage

  • Cost and other drivers of tailings slurry deposition (full life-cycle accounting)
  • Safety and stability of future, existing and decommissioned tailings storage facilities
  • Monitoring, control and rehabilitation practices
  • Co-disposal of mining waste streams and in-situ water recovery

Tailings Consequences

  • Downstream environmental, social and economic risks of tailings from chronic and catastrophic events
  • Community involvement and engagement

Tailings Governance and Practice

  • Policy, capacity-building, training and practice
  • Governance and regulation
  • Involvement of non-traditional actors in research and practice e.g. environmental and engineering consultancies, technology and equipment providers, at-risk communities, regulators, civil society and unions

Be part of the conversation

We are currently convening a series of consultation workshops to develop a global tailings consortium and demonstrate its value.


Held on 9 July 2019
SMI-International Centre of Excellence in Chile
Held on Thursday 10 October 2019
Co-hosted by: Geotechnical Division of the South African Institute of Civil Engineering, The University of the Witwatersrand and The University of Cape Town
Held on Monday 28 October, 2019
Co-hosted by: The Minerals Council of Australia,The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Sunday, 17 November 2019
16.30 - 18.30
Balmoral Room, Hyatt Regency
Friday 22 November, 2019
Hôtel Le Plaza Bruxelles


Professor Anna Littleboy


Professor Daniel Franks


Professor David Williams