Managing Tailings and Waste Rock to
Minimise Environmental Risk and
Liability
P Scott
FeTech Conference
Perth
November 201...
Introduction
A perspective on the Mining Industry and management of bulk
wastes:
 Waste Rock
 Tailings

Focus on:
 Mate...
Introduction
Industry has promoted itself as a temporary land use:
 What is the post-mining land use?
 How can I be sure...
Introduction – Life of Mine Approach
Pilbara
 Big
 Hot, dry
 Cyclones
 Rocky hills, flat
sheet flow areas
Land use:
 ...
Materials Characterisation
WHY?
 Understanding the nature of the materials is critical
to planning
 Geotechnical risk – ...
Iron Ore Tailings

 Acid producing behaviour
 Other leachates
 Fibrous materials
 Dust

 Failure to consolidate
 Run...
Waste Rock
 Waste rock generally

has a large footprint
 Visible
 Lots of it!
 Cost

27 November 2013
Waste Rock - ARD
 Numerous people
 Exploration>Post Closure
 Use geological knowledge
 Prediction

 Scaling issues
 ...
Waste Rock – Acid Rock Drainage
Leachates
can be
long term
problems –
leachate
capture
system

27 November 2013
Acid Rock Drainage (ARD)
 Cyclone Bobby

 Strategy and design
at feasibility
 Control over whole
of life
 Materials

c...
Planning and Designing for the Life of the
Facility
Some common pitfalls/issues:


Not including areas needed for clearin...
Waste Rock - Dumps

27 November 2013
Waste Rock - Landforms
 Call it a “dump”?
 Name it after a

Mining Engineer
 Find a natural
analogue
 Plan how you are...
Planning and Designing for the Life of the
Facility
With a whole mine life
leading up to closure –
plenty can go off the r...
Risk Management
Actions
 Use formal risk assessment
 Life of mine plans

 Set some KPIs
 Establish clear responsibilit...
Risk Management
Some issues to consider - Tailings
 Tailings dam failure rates highly
 Access during operations (risks t...
Risk Management
Some issues to consider – Waste Rock
 Leachates
 Water management – shed, capture?

 Fibrous materials
...
R&D
R&D History
 MERIWA – no projects completed that are specific to iron ore tailings or
waste rock. Projects with gener...
Closure and Rehabilitation
Stability and Growth
Medium
 Design for resilience
 Soils are the key to
plant growth and
est...
Tailings Consolidation
Getting on a
tailings dam to cap
and close
 Consolidation
 Retained water
quality
 Machinery to ...
Tailings Rehabilitation
An example
 Planning for access
 Planning was based
on salt tolerant
vegetation
 Materials to u...
Rehabilitation and Closure

27 November 2013
Rehabilitation and Closure

27 November 2013
Conclusion
 Tailings and waste rock are part of mining – they need

to be planned on a whole of life basis
 Characterise...
Acknowledgements: – This presentation was prepared following
discussions with DMP and Industry personnel.
Thanks in partic...
Phil Scott, Director
Telephone: + 61 8 9221 0011
Mobile:
+ 61 418 954 467
Email:
pscott@prestonconsulting.com.au

Catherin...
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Phil Scott, Preston Consulting: Managing Tailings and Waste Rock to Minimise Environmental Risk and Liability

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Phil Scott, Director, Preston Consulting delivered this presentation at the 2013 FE Tech Conference. The event focussed on the economics of processing and the beneficiation of iron ore. In light of the slowdown in demand for iron ore and pricing decreases, the need to process more efficiently and cost effectively is a challenge. The conference examined on how we can achieve greater value from the iron ore supply chain, with topics addressing optimisation and streamlining processes, applying improved technologies, understanding the ore body and how to properly characterise it, knowing the steel makers needs. For more information please visit the conference website: http://www.informa.com.au/fe-tech

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Phil Scott, Preston Consulting: Managing Tailings and Waste Rock to Minimise Environmental Risk and Liability

  1. 1. Managing Tailings and Waste Rock to Minimise Environmental Risk and Liability P Scott FeTech Conference Perth November 2013
  2. 2. Introduction A perspective on the Mining Industry and management of bulk wastes:  Waste Rock  Tailings Focus on:  Materials characterisation;  Planning and designing for the life of the facility;  Management of risk along the way; and  Closure and rehabilitation.
  3. 3. Introduction Industry has promoted itself as a temporary land use:  What is the post-mining land use?  How can I be sure that land use can be supported?
  4. 4. Introduction – Life of Mine Approach Pilbara  Big  Hot, dry  Cyclones  Rocky hills, flat sheet flow areas Land use:  Mining  Grazing and pastoralism  Conservation 27 November 2013
  5. 5. Materials Characterisation WHY?  Understanding the nature of the materials is critical to planning  Geotechnical risk – will it stand up (earthquake, rainfall)?  Will it leach any thing to the environment or exhibit behaviour that prevents rehabilitation  What will I be able to rehabilitate it to – can it support the post-mine land use?
  6. 6. Iron Ore Tailings  Acid producing behaviour  Other leachates  Fibrous materials  Dust  Failure to consolidate  Runoff co-efficients/Water balance 27 November 2013
  7. 7. Waste Rock  Waste rock generally has a large footprint  Visible  Lots of it!  Cost 27 November 2013
  8. 8. Waste Rock - ARD  Numerous people  Exploration>Post Closure  Use geological knowledge  Prediction  Scaling issues  Construction  Historical legacies 27 November 2013
  9. 9. Waste Rock – Acid Rock Drainage Leachates can be long term problems – leachate capture system 27 November 2013
  10. 10. Acid Rock Drainage (ARD)  Cyclone Bobby  Strategy and design at feasibility  Control over whole of life  Materials characterisation and use  Historical legacies 27 November 2013
  11. 11. Planning and Designing for the Life of the Facility Some common pitfalls/issues:  Not including areas needed for clearing for direct and indirect footprint (eg Topsoil stockpiles)  Not salvaging closure materials – topsoil, subsoil  Not designing for closure  Making assumptions about materials. Use trials.  Encapsulation specifications – precision?  Lack of or poor materials available for lifts and closure  Water balance and management – operations and closure  Leaks/seepage  Blocking creeks and watercourses
  12. 12. Waste Rock - Dumps 27 November 2013
  13. 13. Waste Rock - Landforms  Call it a “dump”?  Name it after a Mining Engineer  Find a natural analogue  Plan how you are going to keep it stable 27 November 2013
  14. 14. Planning and Designing for the Life of the Facility With a whole mine life leading up to closure – plenty can go off the rails  Materials characterisation and placement  Drainage controls  Topsoil deterioration  Weeds  Feral animals
  15. 15. Risk Management Actions  Use formal risk assessment  Life of mine plans  Set some KPIs  Establish clear responsibilities: o Planning o Opening and closing o Treat as a landform
  16. 16. Risk Management Some issues to consider - Tailings  Tailings dam failure rates highly  Access during operations (risks to people and animals)  Management and freeboard  Drying and dust  Fibrous materials  Failure to consolidate  Pollution and contamination
  17. 17. Risk Management Some issues to consider – Waste Rock  Leachates  Water management – shed, capture?  Fibrous materials  Rehabilitation materials – enough, quality?  Keeping it on track over the life of mine – systematic approach
  18. 18. R&D R&D History  MERIWA – no projects completed that are specific to iron ore tailings or waste rock. Projects with general application to iron ore wastes include:    Slope stability – Telfer Spinifex rehab – Kimberley Gold tailings consolidation – Goldfields  AMIRA  Current projects with relevance:   Integrated tailings management – P1087 started 2012 Long Term Acid Rock and Tailings Drainage Mitigation through Source Control P933B being written up
  19. 19. Closure and Rehabilitation Stability and Growth Medium  Design for resilience  Soils are the key to plant growth and establishment  Do some trials
  20. 20. Tailings Consolidation Getting on a tailings dam to cap and close  Consolidation  Retained water quality  Machinery to use
  21. 21. Tailings Rehabilitation An example  Planning for access  Planning was based on salt tolerant vegetation  Materials to use  A trial here revealed that the best treatment was topsoil straight onto tailings!
  22. 22. Rehabilitation and Closure 27 November 2013
  23. 23. Rehabilitation and Closure 27 November 2013
  24. 24. Conclusion  Tailings and waste rock are part of mining – they need to be planned on a whole of life basis  Characterise materials  Establish clear responsibilities and plans  Identify the risks and manage  Treat them as landforms – consider whole of life issues 27 November 2013
  25. 25. Acknowledgements: – This presentation was prepared following discussions with DMP and Industry personnel. Thanks in particular to Danielle Risbey, Phil Gorey, Ian Zlatnik and Gavin Price THANK YOU
  26. 26. Phil Scott, Director Telephone: + 61 8 9221 0011 Mobile: + 61 418 954 467 Email: pscott@prestonconsulting.com.au Catherine Pinchin, Director Telephone: + 61 8 9221 0011 Mobile: + 61 412 196 497 Email: cpinchin@prestonconsulting.com.au Preston Consulting Phone: + 61 8 9221 0011 Fax: + 61 8 9221 4783 Street Address: Level 3, 8/201 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth WA 6892 Postal Address: PO Box 3093, East Perth, Western Australia, 6892 27/11/2013

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