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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
Program Area
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Alternative Use of Tailings and Waste
Project Period
2023 - 2024

The Challenge 

Mining waste is one of the largest industrial waste streams generated globally, estimated to exceed 100 billion tons every year. If not managed properly, mining waste can generate pollution and result in costly consequences and environmental disasters. Australia produces large volumes of mine waste across a range of commodities, as tailings, waste rock and pyrometallurgical wastes. 

Proposed Solution 

Applying circular economy thinking to mine waste presents a significant opportunity to recover valuable resources from residual material by means of repurposing, reprocessing, and recycling tailings and waste, thereby reducing waste disposal and associated negative impacts.  

This project aims to better understand the range of opportunities and issues faced when considering alternative uses of tailings and waste in Western Australia. The project seeks to gather the views of a wide array of stakeholders including those from industry, METs, government, NGOs, and research organisations. Using a facilitated anonymous online process, the workshops will capture views from different stakeholder cohorts. These views will subsequently be clustered and explored in depth by considering their underlying chains of argument. The workshops will conclude with a prioritisation activity helping to reveal front runners as well as degrees of consensus.  

Proposed Benefits to WA 

Effective and constructive stakeholder engagement is pivotal in the development of scientific programs for mine waste valorisation and circular economy opportunities in Western Australia. Understanding the views of a wide array of stakeholders will enable identification of strategic research priorities that will shape our research portfolio for our focus area.

Key words: Alternative use of tailings and waste, resource recovery, circular economy in mining, stakeholder engagement

Page was last reviewed 4 July 2023

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