Application of dry covers for the closure of tailings facilities
E. Mylona, A. Xenidis, M. Csövári and G. Németh

The design and construction of a cover system represents a major issue in tailings facilities closure. A dry cover system mainly aims to minimize water infiltration and/or inhibition of oxygen diffusion to the underlying waste in order to control acid rock drainage production and metals leaching. Furthermore, dry covers should be resistant to water and wind erosion and provide support for vegetation.

They can be simple or complex, ranging from a single layer of earthen material to several layers of different material types, including native soils, geosynthetic materials, inactive tailings and/or waste rock, and organic materials. Different types of dry covers implemented at tailings facilities are reviewed in this paper. Factors affecting the cover design and dictating the long-term performance are discussed. Alternative covers aiming at acid rock drainage control by the incorporation of reactive layers containing alkaline and/or cementitious materials are also described. Finally, a case study, involving the design and application of a multilayered cover in the reclamation of uranium tailings 
ponds in Pécs, Hungary, is presented.

Key words: closure, dry covers, Pécs, tailings facilities, uranium tailings

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 15 (2), 163-182 (2007)

DOI 10.2462/09670513.849

© 2007 EPP Publications Ltd

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Article code 849