Aida is a tailings and dams engineer at Marandoo

Using our heads to improve our tails

Meet one of the engineers helping to rethink how we manage mining tailings

Last updated: 10 August 2023


Aida is a tailings and dams engineer and recent graduate of a training program for more sustainable tailings management. She’s now helping tackle the enormous challenge of improving the way we store and manage mine tailings.

I really fell in love with mining way before I completed a mining engineering degree, followed by a doctorate in tailings management.

Growing up, I studied a mining technician degree in parallel with my high school studies in a small country town, where I saw so many people with interesting jobs in mining.

Now, I’m happy to be one of them. I look after two tailings storage facilities and one water dam at Marandoo here in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.

Tailings are the material leftover after the mineral processing operation. Because they're a byproduct we produce, we’re responsible for managing them in a sustainable way.

That’s especially important here at Marandoo, where we’re surrounded by a national park with lots of environmental and cultural heritage sites nearby that we need to take care of.

I'm amazed by how interesting tailings management is. It involves so many different skills, from engineering to community management and many others. So managing it effectively requires really specialist yet multidisciplinary knowledge.

I’m very proud to have just completed a Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management through the Future Tails program. The program is designed to improve global knowledge by training participants to build capability, critical thinking, and share state-of-the-art knowledge and research collaborations with industry to help drive further innovation.

Tailings management is constantly evolving, and we need to stay updated and aware of the best practices and how we can bring these to our day-to-day job. That's how we can improve tailings management and help the mining industry to become more sustainable.

My role as a responsible dam engineer gives me a real sense of purpose, because I see how much we care about tailings management. I take it very seriously and am very proud of my role. I know I'm helping Rio Tinto to become a more sustainable company.

Future Tails

Future Tails is a partnership between The University of Western Australia, Rio Tinto and BHP. We're working together towards a future with no catastrophic tailings failures.

Future Tails provides training, technical references, and new research on best practice for mining tailings management, and helps to influence, inform and adapt to the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) initiative.

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