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The potential for environmental impacts and long-term legacies of mining is well documented. However,
there appears to be resistance by many industry figures, including mining companies, consultants and
regulators, to develop appropriate compliance and completion criteria during the design stage, with the
objective of reaching an appropriately and optimally designed facility that is economically, environmental
and technically feasible. This paper presents an approach to developing compliance and completion criteria
that will facilitate the identification of appropriate design objectives. The objectives can be based on an
agreed final landform, mining company standards and long-term legacy to the community. Examples are
presented in which air, water and ground issues are explored, including seepage into fresh groundwater and
hypersaline groundwater, erosion and water management, as well as dust. As part of each worked example,
potential outcomes are presented based on a range of different compliance criteria. This paper also presents
a tool that can be used to identify the preferred tailings management solution, based on the identified and
agreed compliance and completion criteria.
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