Safe, sustainable management of filtered tailings
Total Grant Value
Recent catastrophic failures of tailings storage facilities around the world have increased interest in alternative approaches to tailings management. Although promising in this regard, the stacking of filtered tailings into safe, stable and non-polluting mining landforms requires the development of new design methodologies.
This project will develop a robust methodology for managing the deposition and compaction of filtered mine tailings to ensure that long-term geotechnical stability and sustainable closure of these storage facilities can be achieved. Using Alcoa’s Kwinana facility, where a large filtration plant has recently been commissioned, as a test site, the project is evaluating techniques for characterising the state and resulting geotechnical stability of filtered bauxite residue after its deposition.
Proposed Benefits to WA
Adopting filtered residue management practices at Western Australian bauxite mines will bring environmental benefits to the state including a significant reduction in the use of fresh water, elimination of the risk of tailings dam failure and reduction of the area of land required to store the residue from mineral processing.
Keywords: bauxite mining, filtered tailings, geotechnical stability, mine waste management
Page was last reviewed 3 December 2020