The Tailings Center

The Fundamentals Short Course Certificate Program

Multiple Virtual Sessions Offered

About The Tailings Center

Catastrophic failures of tailings facilities in recent years have resulted in step-change developments and new industry standards of care and regulatory requirements. These enhanced programs require a significant increase in the number of and training available for engineers and scientists to meet the requirements of improved safe design, construction operation, and closure of tailings facilities. To meet this growing need for multi-disciplinary training and education, three major universities in the US that are at the core of training and research in mining engineering and mine waste management have combined forces to form the Tailings Center. These universities are the Colorado School of Mines (Mines), Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Arizona (Arizona).

The Tailings Center has developed six short courses that provide registrants with an understanding of the Fundamentals of Tailings Management. All courses will be offered online, and all content will be available both synchronously and asynchronously. Registrants will have access to the course content for 3 months after completion of the course. Courses may be taken individually, or all six courses can be taken in sequence earning a Tailings Center certificate of completion. The target audience for these courses are those who seek additional basic knowledge on tailings management.

Our Vision is to be the world leader in:

• Providing professional development for mining industry stakeholders in the safe and best-available practices for the design and operation of tailings management systems.
• Industry-driven applied scientific and engineering research to ever improve the design and operational performance of tailings management systems.

The Tailings Center will leverage faculty from the three universities and work with industry leaders to develop timely and appropriate training opportunities for practicing professionals and graduate/undergraduate students that have an interest in tailings management. At the graduate level, we will incorporate basic and applied research topics that will advance the science related to tailings facilities, with a strong focus on reducing risk and sustainable, life-cycle approaches. The Center will engage industry stakeholders as members to drive the cooperative industry/university education and research agendas, and faculty from other universities are invited to become Faculty Fellows of the Center.

Colorado School of Mines

Colorado State University

The University of Arizona

Trio of Major Mining Institutions

The core of the Tailings Center is faculty from Mines, CSU, and Arizona. These institutions have strong reputations and complementary expertise in the fields of mine waste and tailings management. Mines and Arizona are home to world-class programs in mining engineering; and the premier international conference on the subject, the Tailings & Mine Waste Conference, was founded by CSU in 1978. Other universities are becoming increasingly active in the tailings space internationally, but this is the first coordinated effort to specifically address industry needs in the United States. The Tailings Center will collaborate with the other educational initiatives to the maximum practical extent.

Focused on Mining Industry Needs

The Tailings Center has solicited input from relevant mining industry stakeholders since its formation to help focus its emphasis not on what the universities want to teach, but rather on what the industry needs to have taught. To that end, a Technical Advisory Committee was formed to solicit guidance from industry experts on which the Center’s educational content and research should be focused. Committee members are directly involved with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and many other organized tailings initiatives to ensure complementary, not duplicative, Center efforts that align with the most current best practice.

Technical Advisory Committee of tailings experts focus Center actions:
1. Independent consultant Chairperson (1)
2. Mining company representatives (2)
3. Regulatory agency representatives (2)
4. Engineering consulting firm representatives (2)

Michael E. Henderson

Strong Leadership

Michael E. Henderson is the Center Director. Mike is well known in the mining industry for over 40 years as an expert tailings design engineer. Mike will have ultimate responsibility for all Center activities. Dr. Linda Figueroa (Mines), Dr. Joe Scalia (CSU), and Drs. Jaeheon Lee and Gail Heath (Arizona) are the Site Directors for their respective universities. Together, this Directors’ Board leads, organizes, and manages activities within and between the universities and serves as the contact point on issues that span the entire Center.

Education Opportunities

The Tailings Center will partner with industry to deliver short courses and workshops for both online and in person offerings, with certificate-granting opportunities on select topics. These courses provide a nexus for dissemination of best practices and industry benchmarking. Outreach to undergraduates will illuminate the challenges and opportunities for a career in tailings management with an eye toward recruiting the best candidates into this area. Graduate programs in tailings management at each participating university will provide uniquely focused training for tailings engineers of the future.
Tailings Pond Picture

Education Opportunities

The Tailings Center will partner with industry to deliver short courses and workshops for both online and in person offerings, with certificate-granting opportunities on select topics. These courses provide a nexus for dissemination of best practices and industry benchmarking. Outreach to undergraduates will illuminate the challenges and opportunities for a career in tailings management with an eye toward recruiting the best candidates into this area. Graduate programs in tailings management at each participating university will provide uniquely focused training for tailings engineers of the future.

To receive further information and updates, email tailingscenter@mines.edu or call +1 303.273.3700.

Also contact The Tailings Center for the following:

If you are interested in having these courses offered to your company onsite (we can provide you a quote)

If you have new course (topic) suggestions

If you have nominations for course instructors

Colorado School of Mines
University of Arizona Logo
Colorado State University Logo