Kim (Finke) Morrison, PE, RG
Sr. Director, Global Tailings Management, Technical Services - Newmont
Keynote presentation: Leading Advancement of GeoStable Tailings Technology through Industry Collaboration
Keynote summary: The GeoStable Tailings Consortium (GSTC) is a new consortium of eight global mining companies that launched a multi-year initiative to study options to combine various blends of tailings with waste rock to create ‘geo-stable’ landforms that are stronger and more stable than conventional tailings deposition methods and are likely to reduce process water consumption. The Consortium comprises Antamina, Barrick, BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Gold Fields, Newmont, Teck and Vale with external expert support provided by Dr. G. Ward Wilson of the University of Alberta, among others.
Member companies of the GSTC have committed to support research and development activities pertaining to GeoStable Tailings, including conducting laboratory testing, field trials, and data analysis; collaborating to promote best practices in tailings and waste management; and fostering a culture of continuous improvement across the mining industry. This keynote presentation will provide an overview of the objectives of the GSTC, high-level overview of work that is underway, and details on past results and proposed future research to explore the use of GeoStable Tailings for Newmont’s Peñasquito operation in Mexico.
Kim is the Senior Director, Global Tailings Management at Newmont’s corporate headquarters in Denver, Colorado. She is responsible for oversight of tailings and dams at Newmont’s global operations, including development of standards and guidelines, overseeing governance programs, conducting risk assessments and reviews, and leading implementation of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM).
As founding Chair of the Tailings and Mine Waste Committee of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), formed in 2020; she actively works to raise awareness about responsible tailings management through programs and training. Kim served as the managing editor for the first edition of SME’s Tailings Management Handbook: A Life-Cycle Approach, published in early 2022.
She is an active member of the International Council on Mining and Metals’ Tailings Working Group and on the Advisory Boards for the Tailings and Industrial Waste Engineering Center (TAILENG) and EduMine. Formerly, she served in various leadership roles with the Geoprofessional Business Association, including being the second woman on the Board of Directors and founding the Tailings Engineer of Record Task Force, which resulted in publication of the Proposed Best Practices for the Engineer of Record for Tailings Dams.
In 2020, she was named to the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining and received the SME President’s Individual Citation Award. In 2022, she received the Environmental Stewardship Distinguished Service Award from SME’s Environmental Division and was selected to be featured in a temporary exhibit, Pioneering the Field: Women in Mining, at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colorado.
Kim serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the recently-announced GeoStable Tailings Consortium. The consortium brings together eight global mining companies to study options to combine tailings and waste rock to create ‘geo-stable’ landforms that are stronger and more stable than conventional tailings deposition methods and are likely to reduce process water consumption. This new initiative builds on the work of a group formed to advance geo-waste and eco-tailings research previously pursued by Goldcorp, which was acquired by Newmont in early 2019.