Authors: Bruton, MS; Newman, P

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Bruton, MS & Newman, P 2023, 'Hydraulic Dewatered Stacking: facilitating faster and value-accretive closure of tailings facilities', in B Abbasi, J Parshley, A Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2023: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth,

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Although there is plenty of good justification for progressive closure of tailings facilities as well as a future state desire that sees the industry designing facilities for closure (including risk reduction, financial and societal benefits), this is not necessarily going to be realised at all facilities. Firstly, there are a myriad of reasons why a facility may not be designed for closure for example the continuous desire to develop and grow a mine’s resource estimate and the requirement to meet the storage needs for this new value. Secondly, among many other reasons, not all miners have the luxury of the time and finance to engineer a structure with that end goal in sight, and of course thirdly there are many tailings dams currently in operation where formal closure planning has not been considered beyond a short, conceptualised idea. So then, closure will likely remain a challenging prospect for a lot of tailings dams into the future. This paper looks at the potential application and benefits of hydraulic dewatered stacking (HDS) technology in both greenfield and brownfield tailings storage facility applications to enable rapid closure, rehabilitation, and repurposing of otherwise, at best, partially closed and unrehabilitated/ sterilised areas of land.

Keywords: Tailings, Hydraulic Dewatered Stacking, GISTM, Life Cycle, Saturation, Consolidation, Resistance to Liquefaction

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