Case Study

Tailings Risk Management (Africa)

The site comprises of an opencast mine that exploits gold bearing arsenopyrites. The tailings storage facility (TSF) includes a valley dam across the Twangiza river, which has a final wall height of 170m making it one of the highest earth dams in the world. The TSF has a high risk safety rating with a village located immediately downstream of the TSF. The area is seismically active and characterised by very steep terrain. River diversions which include a series of energy dissipaters divert streams around the TSF. The SEIA and technical studies addressed the environmental and social risks associated with Phase 1 of the project.

The TSF was designed to accommodate 13.6 million tonnes of tailings over the 11 year planned life. Stream diversions formed part of the project to divert the Twangiza River around the TSF, minimizing the impact on the river systems.


South Kivu Province


Banro Corporation


Mining & Minerals

Project Objectives:

The core objectives for the team where to manage key risks associated with the challenging topography, climate, geochemical & seismic hazards and socio-economic conditions.

Our Role

  • SLR was appointed as the design engineer and project manager for the design and construction of the TMF and river diversions, as well as to continue the SEIA process for Phase 1 of the project.
  • SLR’s technical specialists carried out a number of key studies including the surface and groundwater studies for the mine
  • Extensive geotechnical investigations were conducted as a result of the high risk rating and the seismicity of the area