Laurie Reemeyer – Improved Tailings Management – a Prerequisite for Responsible Metal Supply

11409-833 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC, V6B0G4, Canada


Processing of ores for the extraction of minerals and metals commonly produces a waste material, tailings, consisting of ground rock and process water. In recent years, catastrophic failures of tailings facilities such as at Mount Polley in Canada and Fundao and Brumadinho in Brazil have caused immense pressure on mining companies to improve disclosure and risk related to tailings storage facilities. In 2020, after campaigns from influential investors, the Global Tailings Review was convened, and a Global Industry Tailings Management Standard was released. Many of the world’s largest mining companies, as members of the International Council on Mining and Metals, have committed to implement the standard. Companies and researchers are also investigating technology alternatives to reduce production of tailings or modify ore processing to generate tailings that can be more safely contained with lower chance of environmental impacts. Improved tailings management is a critical aspect to allow mining companies to restore trust with regulators and communities of interest, and to be able to responsibly supply metals critical for clear technologies and a low carbon future. The presentation will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges to improve tailings practices. It will also give a brief overview of the GMPA Global Action on Tailings initiative.


Laurie is a minerals process engineer and sustainability professional with over 25 years of experience in processing of base and precious metals. He is Principal Consultant at Resourceful Paths, a consultancy focused on reducing environmental impacts of mining. His prior roles included Manager Metallurgy at Zinifex Century Mine, Principal Development Advisor at Zinifex and Director – Process Strategy at Amec Foster Wheeler. Laurie is a Professional Engineer in BC and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He currently leads the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance Global Action on Tailings initiative. In 2010 Laurie was awarded an MBA with Certificate in Engineering and Business for Sustainability from University of California at Berkeley.