AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU; ASX: AGG; JSE: ANG) has earmarked US$143 million to finish migrating its upstream mine waste storage facilities in Brazil, where two major tailings tragedies occurred in recent year, to dry-stack operations.
The South African miner is investing close to US$42 per oz. on transforming its tailings dams built using the upstream method to comply with the country’s new legal requirements relating to mining waste storage.
Upstream tailings use dried mine waste to build the structure’s walls. They are the kind of structures that failed in 2015 at the Samarco dam and 2019 at the Feijao mine near Brumadinho, both in Minas Gerais state.
The dry-stack method consists of submitting all waste generated after ore processing to a filtering and drying process, after which it is placed in filtered tailings stacks.
AngloGold will be the first large gold producer in the country to have eliminated all upstream tailings at its assets in Minas Gerais and Goiás states by the end of the year.
The company produces around 510,000 ounces of gold in Brazil from two mining complexes, which account for 15% of its total global production.