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, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 151-159.
The increasing regulatory and social demand for the environmentally conscious disposal of mining waste
products, the escalating demand of fresh water resources and the disposal of mine and process water back
into the environment are some of the key issues affecting mining community and, ultimately, affecting the
cost of mining operations.
The overwhelming desire to use less process water and to reduce the footprint caused by the disposal of
waste materials ranks high on the lists of required actions for mining companies, regulatory agencies,
communities and environmental groups.
One component of an overall solution which is becoming widely accepted is the use of dewatered tailings
which, as part an integrated process approach, returns the surplus water to the mill for re-use. For many
processes, this allows immediate recycle of process water hence reduces the amount of impacted water
therefore the cost of treating it. It also means that there is less of a need for make-up water. As a result, cost
savings can be created in a number of applications around water management including environmental
permitting, energy consumption, cost of equipment and water transportation.
The integrated approach also considers the sludge by-products from water treatment. In most cases, the
sludge is deposited separately from the tailings, waste rock and other waste materials. However, combining
these materials may well reduce the geographic footprint of the mine’s waste. A smaller footprint means less
area for which a permit must be sought as well as less area that must be monitored during operation and
post-closure. This creates flexibility regarding where the waste can be deposited, and reduces operating
costs and post-closure liabilities.
The paper will discuss advantages of an integrated approach to managing mine wastes and mine water as
well as water produced as part of the tailings management process using case studies.
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Emalahleni, South Africa – Case Study, Water in Mining 2006 Conference, Anglo Coal South Africa, Clewer
1036, South Africa.
Kuyucak, N. and Yaschyshyn, D. (2007) Managing thiosalts in mill effluents studies conducted at the Kidd
metallurgical site. Sudbury 2007, Mining and Environment Conference held in October, 2007 in Sudbury,
Kuyucak, N. (2006) Selecting suitable methods for treating mining effluents. Water in Mining – 2006: Multiple values
of water conference, November 2006, Brisbane, Australia.
Kuyucak, N., Lindvall, M., Sundqvist, T. and Sturk, H. (2001) Implementation of a high density sludge “HDS”
treatment process at the Kristineberg mine site, Securing the Future 2001, Proceedings Mining and the
Environment Conference, June 2001.
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Processing, May 2000.
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treatment process at the Boliden Apirsa mine site, Clean Technologies Wastewater Treatment Symposium,
Sevilla, Spain, September 1999.
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and Pollution, Vol. 10, Nos. 2/3, 1998.
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Bulyanhulu mine, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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mining. Emalahleni, South Africa – Case Study, Water in Mining 2006 Conference, Anglo Coal South Africa,
Clewer 1036, South Africa.
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of geochemical performance and disposal options for tailings, 6th International Conference on acid rock
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impact. ICARD’2000, Vol. II, pp. 1027–1035.
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