Bentel, GM 2010, 'The real value to the mining industry of leading-practice waste management', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Reduction of Risk in the Management of Tailings and Mine Waste
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 15-19.
Mining wastes � waste rock, process tailings, and other mining by-products � have little beneficial use or
value. If not managed well, some wastes can leave an enduring threat of serious health and/or environmental
harm, and hence good waste management practice can significantly increase both capital and operating costs.
Some mining waste can cause serious health and environment issues, and therefore responsible waste
management is a key attribute of sustainable mining. When poor or irresponsible waste management is
discovered and publicised through the media, the responsible company can suffer serious detrimental
consequences through public outrage and loss of stakeholder and shareholder confidence and support.
While not exactly a waste management issue, the public (including President Obama) and shareholder
reaction (Figure 1) to the BP Deepwater Horizon incident that resulted in the loss of 11 lives, 17 injured, and
that continues to wreak untold environmental damage, illustrates society�s perception of the social and
financial implications of a catastrophic environmental incident.
BHP Billiton (2010) BHP Billiton, Our Sustainability Framework, 2010, Accessed 20 July 2010, sourced from:
Mine Closure Guideline (2006) Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources Leading
Practice Sustainable Development Guideline on Mine Closure and Completion, October 2006.
Weekend Australian Financial Review July 17–18, 2010.
The real value to the mining industry of leading-practice waste management G.M. Bentel
20 Mine Waste 2010, Perth, Australia