Authors: Loch, RJ; Lowe, SM


Cite As:
Loch, RJ & Lowe, SM 2008, 'A Logical Framework for the Design, Construction, and Rehabilitation of Mine Site Waste Rock Dumps', in AB Fourie (ed.), Rock Dumps 2008: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Management of Rock Dumps, Stockpiles and Heap Leach Pads, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 257-2265,

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Waste rock dumps are a major consequence of many mining operations. Government, community and stakeholder expectations for the rehabilitation of waste rock dumps are continuing to evolve. This places increasing pressure on companies to ensure that their “waste disposal” is as cost-effective as possible, with concerns not only for initial costs, but also for the costs of repair of remediation failures. Pending changes to guidelines for Environmental Performance Bonds for waste rock dumps in Western Australia are expected to adopt a risk-based assessment of the landforms to set bond levels. While such bond guidelines could obviously increase the bond held over high-risk landforms, it could also create potential for well-designed and well-constructed waste rock dumps to be subject to lower levels of bond, further increasing economic incentives for companies to adopt waste rock dump design and construction procedures that will consistently deliver quality, cost-effective results. This paper outlines (with examples from a number of sites) a framework covering the various stages in design, construction, and rehabilitation of a waste rock dump. Properly applied, the framework can deliver consistent reductions in risk of failure, and dramatic improvements in cost-effectiveness. Based on the key performance indicator (KPI) approach developed at Minara Resources’ Murrin Murrin Nickel Operation (Loch et al., 2006), the framework specifies stages of planning, construction, and rehabilitation, and identifies the range of actions necessary within each stage. The framework is distinctive for its emphasis on quality control during waste rock dump construction, but this aspect of waste rock dump construction is crucial to achievement of a quality outcome. Similarly, the framework specifies a range of actions for planning and executing dump rehabilitation works.

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Rock Dumps 2008, Perth, Australia 265

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