Authors: Chapman, PJ; Williams, DA

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Chapman, PJ & Williams, DA 2010, 'The importance of selecting appropriate compliance and completion criteria during the initial stages of tailings storage facility design', 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. 297-308.

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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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