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The process to extract gold from mined ore produces waste called tailings, or slurry. At South Deep, this slurry is made up of small mineral particles and water that contains traces of the chemicals and reagents used in the gold extraction process.
Our mine is certified in terms of the International Cyanide Management Code, which prescribes how to transport, store, treat, use and dispose of the cyanide used in processing. South Deep is recertified as compliant every three years, and also maintains compliance according to the ISO 14001 (2015) environmental management standard: View the document here.
Some of our tailings are used as backfill. The rest is pumped to and stored in a specially designed part of our infrastructure called Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs). South Deep has one active TSF and two older TSFs that have been rehabilitated. By responsibly managing these facilities, we mitigate against a TSF burst and minimise their environmental impact. To this end we have adopted the Group’s Tailings Management Guidelines that are aligned to the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Tailings Position Statement.