The term mining dams refers to retaining structures that exist at mine sites or metallurgical plant sites. There are two main types of mining dams: dams used to create tailings ponds or impoundments, and dams used to create ponds to hold water. Tailings are a by-product of conventional mining; they are formed from the rock that is mined and then crushed to a fine sand and silt for processing and may contain solids (that may or may not be contaminated) and/or contaminated liquids.
The Mining Dams Committee is responsible for identifying issues related to mining dams and then working with stakeholders and other CDA committees to develop solutions. In 2014, the committee completed a Technical Bulletin on how the Dam Safety Guidelines can and should be applied to mining dams.
The Mining Dams Committee maintains strong relationships with other organizations including the Mining Association of Canada.