Enhancing the safety of tailings management facilities
Karl Ernst Roehl, Kurt Czurda, Tamás Meggyes and Chris McDonald

This paper reviews the planning, design and construction of tailings management facilities, what may cause them to fail, and the consequences of such failures.

It describes the role of the EU-sponsored TAILSAFE project in developing methods of parameter evaluation and measurement for the assessment and improvement of the safety of tailings facilities, including the stability of tailings dams; the special risks when such materials include toxic or hazard-ous wastes; and the necessary authorization and management procedures.

Investigation, intervention, remediation and closure are discussed, also the role of management, and regulation at European and national levels.

The paper concludes that the training and qualification of all personnel and authorities involved is vital. This might be organized at the European level, and lead to professional certification. Finally, due to the complex nature of the natural and technical components, only interdisciplinary work by engineers and geoscientists will ensure successful and safe management of tailings facilities.

Key words: mining, mining waste, tailings, tailings facilities, industrial hazard, TAILSAFE

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 15 (2), 145-155 (2007)

DOI: 10.2462/09670513.847

© 2007 EPP Publications Ltd

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Article code 847