Responsible water management
For Rio Tinto, water is not solely about constrained supply and each of our operations has its own water context. While some operations are located in water-scarce environments, others must manage intense rainfall.
Most sites must manage the quality of water returned to the environment during operations and at closure. Our water management programme focuses on these site-specific risks and how we balance operational needs with those of local communities, Traditional Owners and regulatory requirements.
Managing tailings and structures
Tailings are residues created as part of mining, refining, smelting and water treatment processes. We operate tailings and large water storage facilities at 33 operations and also have closed impoundments that we continue to monitor at five sites. We review and audit operations to ensure that our practices comply with our Management of tailings and water storage facilities standard and are consistent with the principles in the International Council on Mining & Metals’ Tailings Governance Framework.