Authors: Santos, FFG; Valadão, GES, Viana, PRM

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Santos, FFG & Valadão, GES, Viana, PRM 2013, 'Multi-criteria decision-making tool to support the selection of a tailings disposal system', in R Jewell, AB Fourie, J Caldwell & J Pimenta (eds), Paste 2013: Proceedings of the 16th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 341-348,

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Increased exploitation of deposits with low ore mineral content and the consequent generation of a greater volume of tailings, the scarcity of water resources for mining activities, and increasingly stringent global environmental legislation are irreversible trends in the mining industry. The conventional alternative for tailings disposal in tailings dams generates large environmental and social impact and there is a natural tendency of environmental agencies to restrict approval of new projects that consider only this solution. This paper shows a case study proposing the use of a multi-criteria decision making tool to support the selection of the most appropriate tailings disposal system for a hypothetical proposed scenario. It was concluded in the case studied that tailings disposal in paste form can be the most appropriate choice in situations where environmental factors have great importance and particularly for projects located in regions where environmental permits are difficult to obtain and water is scarce.

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