Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident
Capturing and generating value from mine tailings
Provides additional income- generation stream Reduces loss of valuable material Reduces mine footprint Limits potential for future recovery Generates savings on site remediation
Extracting more from tailings Using tailings in new products
Recovery of additional minerals
The use of mine waste for site remediation
Finding on-site alternatives to long-term storage
Source: Golev 2016
Figure 21. Capturing and generating value from mine tailings (adapted from Golev 2016)
taken up by industry because poor economics, resistance to change and budget priorities have prevented their evaluation and application in the real world. To this day, the recycling and reuse of tailings and waste rock is largely driven by their practical applications and financial returns. However, there is a clear business case for the reuse and recycling of mine tailings and waste rock to achieve zero-waste mining.
New solutions to waste production and disposal are required if we are to reduce waste and achieve the zero-failure objective. Stakeholders need to work collaboratively to ensure that potential and innovative solutions are applied at the mine design phase. Finally, the regulator should use its tax and legal options to make it more profitable for companies to use mine tailings and waste rock for other purposes.
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