Tailings Storage


Key Points:

  • Mine tailings are the material left over from the separation of the sought-after minerals from the mined rock or soil. These materials include processed rock and minerals that are typically sand to clay-like in particle size.
  • Albemarle expects to adopt the industry best practice known as “dry stacking” for its tailings storage facility (TSF) where tailings are stockpiled in a structured embankment to ensure containment.
  • During operations, Albemarle plans to monitor the TSF using scheduled visual inspections, drone flyovers and surveys. Planned periodic inspections by Albemarle and independent engineers will be done to confirm the operation and design of the TSF to U.S. and global standards to maintain facility integrity.

Tailings Management Strategy at the Kings Mountain Mine

Albemarle plans to construct a tailings storage facility (TSF) on a 131-acre property about three miles southwest of the Kings Mountain Mine. The TSF is expected to hold mine tailings, consisting of typically sand to clay-like materials left over from the separation of sought-after minerals from the rock or soil.

Managing the Storage of Mine Tailings

Following industry standard practice, Albemarle plans to store its tailings within an engineered storage TSF. Tailings within the TSF will be contained by a structural embankment of strong soils and/or rockfill. Albemarle has engaged industry-recognized engineering consultants to design the TSF to mitigate environmental impacts and physical instability risks.

Managing Water and Erosion

Managing rainfall and preventing water collection on top of the dry stack TSFs is considered a good practice during and after the facility's construction. Albemarle’s TSF is designed to allow surface water to be collected and channeled to erosion-resistant collection ditches or pumped off the facility to reduce infiltration into the tailings. Any water that does make its way into the tailings can be collected within an underdrain at the base of the TSF and tested to mitigate potential impact to the area groundwater.

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