SRSL provide mine operators and governments with robust baseline and environmental impact assessment surveys, involving characterisation and investigation of offshore sites proposed for mine tailings disposal. SRSL offer independent advice to the mining sector, underpinned by cutting-edge science.
SRSL is the world leading consultancy in best-practice and environmental impact assessment of deep sea mine tailings placement (DSTP), having assessed three DSTP-permitted mines worldwide.
We have over a decade of experience working with industry, landowners and regulators internationally, operating from ice camps in the Arctic to the deep sea in Papua New Guinea.
Deep sea mine tailings placement (DSTP) is an alternative to land-based mine-waste disposal options, and is currently practised by several mines worldwide. Processed tailings are transported as a slurry via a pipeline to the coast, before being discharged into very deep water offshore. Specific geographical and hydrodynamic conditions must exist if the mine tailings are to sink to the seabed and remain in storage. For this reason, DSTP projects must be subjected to a thorough environmental impact assessment and environmental monitoring process.
SRSL advises on site-suitability and best practice, while providing mitigation solutions for mine waste management and marine mining where appropriate. Our committed staff of marine geologists, physicists, geochemists, analytical chemists, ecologists, biologists, social scientists, hydrographers and modellers all work hand-in-hand towards the delivery of sustainable solutions and the development of new policy for tailings disposal in the marine environment.
SRSL has over ten years of experience in providing marine Environmental Impact Assessments internationally, including assessments of Lihir and Misima mines in Papua New Guinea (2007-2010), and environmental baseline surveys of Basamuk (2008-2012), the site of the now operational Ramu Nickel mine processing plant. SRSL continues to work in the Basamuk area and for mines in other countries worldwide.
At operational mines, SRSL employ an industry-standard suite of environmental surveys to determine the impact of DSTP against existing environmental baseline data, whereas at decommissioned mines we assess both the extent and recovery of impacted sites.
SRSL also have the specific expertise to design and implement robust long-term environmental monitoring programmes for the marine environment where DSTP is used for mine waste disposal.