Authors: Williams, DJ

Open access courtesy of:

DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_73

Cite As:
Williams, DJ 2022, 'Review of mine waste capping methodologies for use in semi-arid regions of Queensland, Australia', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 999-1012, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_73

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero


Abstract:
The paper reviews conventional surface mine waste management practices and the development of capping methodologies over potentially contaminating mine wastes using soil covers. The paper then focuses on the store and release cover system appropriate for the tops of potentially contaminating mine waste storages in the semi-arid regions of Queensland, Australia. The treatment and drainage of the slopes of such mine waste storages are also described. In Queensland, the Queensland Estimated Rehabilitation Cost User Guide (ERC User Guide) recommends soil cover layers and their thicknesses for the risk category assigned to stored mine wastes. The paper outlines the recommendations of the ERC User Guide and offers commentaries on their application in semi-arid regions of Queensland. It is noted that the ERC User Guide does not specify cover designs for different climatic settings, nor the materials or placement to be applied to the layers defined, which are key to the success of a cover system. Rather, the focus is on assigning a risk category to the stored mine wastes, covering both chemical and physical risks, and specifying the type and thickness of cover layers for that risk category. Attention should focus on the design, materials selection, and construction of mine waste covers to ensure that they are appropriate for the mine wastes stored and the climatic setting of the site. Further, the ERC User Guide does not specify the slope angle and treatment for waste rock dumps (WRDs), heap leach pads and tailings storage facilities, but presumes ‘reprofiling’, which forms the basis for estimating slope rehabilitation costs. Leaving angle of repose non-acid forming WRD slopes is not considered in the ERC User Guide, despite it being successfully applied at a number of mine sites in Queensland. The ERC User Guide states that “drainage is typically required on the finished cap to ensure that surface water drains off the cap”, despite this concentrating rainfall runoff.

Keywords: cover system, estimated rehabilitation cost, mine waste storages, rehabilitation, slope treatment

References:
Agnew, MK 1998, The Formation of Hardpans Within Tailings as Possible Inhibitors of Acid Mine Drainage, Contaminant Release and Dusting, PhD thesis, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide.
Bussière, B, Maqsoud, A, Aubertin, M, Martschuk, J, McMullen, J & Julien, M 2006, ‘Performance of the oxygen limiting cover at the LTA site, Malartic, Québec’, CIM Magazine, vol. 1, no. 6, pp. 1–11.
Bussière, B, Potvin, R, Dagenais, A-M, Aubertin, M, Maqsoud, A & Cyr, J 2015, ‘Restauration du site minier Lorraine, Latulipe, Québec: Résultats de 10 ans de suivi’ (Restoration of the Lorraine mine site, Latulipe, Quebec: Results of 10 years of follow-up), Sciences & Techniques, vol. 54, pp. 49–64.
CIPEC 2005, Benchmarking the Energy Consumption of Canadian Open-Pit Mines, Mining Association of Canada and Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa.
Davies, MP & Rice, S 2001, ‘An alternative to conventional tailing management: “dry stack” filtered tailings’, Proceedings of Tailings and Mine Waste 2001 Conference, A.A. Balkema, Amsterdam, pp. 411–422.
Department of Environment and Science 2019, User Guide for Estimated Rehabilitation Cost Calculator for Mining, Operational Support, Department of Environment and Science, Brisbane,
assets/pdf_file/0029/89615/rs-gl-user-guide-erc-calculator-mining.pdf
DMIRS 2020, Statutory Guidelines and Mine Closure Plans, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Government of Western Australia, Perth,
International Network for Acid Prevention 2009, Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide, INAP, Brisbane,
Land Court of Queensland 2021, Century Mining Limited v Department of Environment and Science [2021] QLC 3,
Smirnova, E, Bussière, B, Tremblay, F & Bergeron, Y 2011, ‘Vegetation succession and impacts of bio-intrusion on covers used to limit acid mine drainage’, Journal of Environmental Quality, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 133–143.
So, HB, Sheridan, GJ, Loch, RJ, Carroll, C, Willgoose, G, Short, M & Grabski, A 1998, ‘Post-mining landscape parameters for erosion and water quality control’, Final Report on ACARP Projects C1629 and C4011.
Williams, DJ 2006, ‘Mine Closure as a Driver for Waste Rock Dump Construction’, in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2006: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 697–706,
Williams, DJ 2014, ‘Mine planning for the final landform’, Proceedings of Fifth International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference, SAICE, Rustenburg, p. 52.
Williams, DJ 2019, ‘Obstacles to effective mine closure, rehabilitation and relinquishment’, Proceedings of Tailings and Mine Waste 2019 Conference, Vancouver, pp. 1271–1286.
Williams, DJ 2020, ‘Geochemical and Hydrological Lags and Impact on Covers on PAG Mine Wastes’. Proceedings of Tailings and Mine Waste 2020, pp. 505–518.
Williams, DJ, McGhie, A & Short, T 2022, ‘Repurposing of the Genex Kidston mine site in Queensland, Australia’, in M Tibbett, AB Fourie & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 784–797.
Williams, DJ, Wilson, GW & Currey, NA 1997, ‘A cover system for a potentially acid forming waste rock dump in a dry climate’, Proceedings of Tailings and Mine Waste 1997 Conference, Fort Collins, pp. 231–235.
Zhang, C, Williams, DJ, Lei, X, Zhu, Y & O’Neill, M 2018, ‘Instrumented column testing of salt uptake from compacted red mud into a cover’, Proceedings of Mine Waste and Tailings Stewardship Conference 2018, Brisbane, pp. 220–227.




© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to repository-acg@uwa.edu.au