Authors: Watkins, RT; Doronila, AI; Oldmeadow, DWGT; Baker, AJM

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DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/605_26

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Watkins, RT, Doronila, AI, Oldmeadow, DWGT & Baker, AJM 2006, 'Experimentation into Use of Shallow Covers in Rehabilitation of Sulphidic Mine Tailings, Stawell Gold Mine, Victoria, Australia', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2006: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 329-339, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/605_26

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Abstract:
This paper provides an overview of ecological and geochemical research into rehabilitation of sulphidic tailings undertaken on purpose-built facilities at Stawell Gold Mine from May 2001 to March 2006. The field trials were preceded by glasshouse studies that indicated the rehabilitation strategies most likely to prove successful. Results of these studies into the growth of grasses and eucalypts, the influence of mycorrhizae on growth, and the uptake of arsenic and metals into plant tissues are not reported in detail here, although their relation to the field trials and implications for rehabilitation are discussed. The experimentation was designed to test the efficacy of thin, permeable covers in future rehabilitation of a 100 ha tailings storage facility (TSF). The trialled covers, which were designed to provide a more environmentally sustainable alternative to the proscribed impermeable cover, involved amendment of fresh tailings with locally derived materials to generate substrates suitable for plant growth. Within the time limitations of the field studies, it is concluded that cultivation of selected native Australian trees and grasses is practical on sulphidic tailings at Stawell after simple amendment of the surface, and this may provide a sustainable vegetative cover able to restrict surface erosion and release of acidic drainage, while imparting value to the rehabilitated land for the local community.

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