Tailings Storage Facility Żelazny Most


Copper ore extracted in the mines of KGHM Polska Miedz (Polish Copper) is enriched by flotation. The product is a flotation concentrate, converted to copper in copper smelters in Glogow and Legnica. Concentrates recovered from the enrichment process constitute only about 4-6% of the extracted material’s weight. The rest of the excavated and grinded rock with water used for flotation create waste (tailings) in the form of slurry. The slurry is transported by pipelines and stored in a storage facility, where clarified water recovered after the sedimentation process is re-cycled back to the enrichment plants. KGHM ”Polish Copper” has been cooperating with Hydroprojekt since the early 1970s. Hydroprojekt served as the lead design office of the ”Wartowice”, ”Gilow”, and Zelazny Most” Tailings storage facilities. Currently, the only operated tailings disposal and continuously designed by Hydroprojekt is ”Zelazny Most” – the largest tailings storage facility in Europe, and one of the largest worldwide. It is designed for the storage of copper ore tailings from the mines of the Lubin copper basin: “Lubin”, “Polkowice-Sieroszowice” and “Rudna”.


Currently, the tailings storage facility is in the forming phase up to an ordinate of 185 m above sea level. It is able to store the tailings with a volume of 657 million m3 and ultimately, after the extension of the existing facility to 195 m above sea level  and the expansion of the Southern Section with an area of 600 ha, it will be able to contain as much as 950 million m3 of tailings in the perspective of 2038.


  • conceptual designs
  • preliminary and detailed designs of tailings dams extention and hydrotransportation
  • EIA reports
  • dam break analysis
  • monitoring and warning systems

Project on map


Tailings Storage Facility Żelazny Most


KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. – Hydrotechnical Branch


Legnica-Glogow Copper District, Lower Silesia Voivodship, Polkowice District, Poland

Time frame

1974 – uptill now