Saline Tailings Disposal and Decommissioning

 

Please note this report is currently out of print. Contact MERIWA for electronic versions. A survey of industry undertaken in 1992 by the Chamber of Mines and Energy of WA identified that the highest priority research issue to be addressed was the very poor understanding of the consolidation behaviour of tailings, particularly the saline tailings produced by the gold industry in WA.

Research objectives

  • Investigate the consolidation behaviour of saline and non-saline tailings, concentrating on the gold industry in WA;
  • Investigate and quantify the effect of evaporation on consolidation behaviour;
  • Investigate the effect of salinity on evaporation from tailings and evaporation induced consolidation of these tailings;
  • Develop techniques to allow the filling and post-filling behaviour of tailings in tailings storages to be modelled numerically, taking account of evaporation;
  • Investigate the state of both active and recently decommissioned gold tailings storages in WA, with the storages chosen to provide a good coverage over tailings type (particularly clay content), salinity and rate of filling;
  • Develop a database on material properties, linking consolidation behaviour to basic tailings properties such as the tailings particle size distribution (grading) curve and particularly the amount and type of clay content.

The report provides an extensive database of information that is an important resource for industry. The findings from the consolidation modelling and from the evaporation studies in particular are extremely important and advance the state-of-the-art in these areas significantly. Please note this report is currently out of print. Contact MERIWA for electronic versions.

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