Riley SJ, Waggitt PW & McQuade C (eds)
Supervising Scientist 1993
ISBN 0 644 32880 0
The following abstract, executive summary or foreword/preface is reproduced here from the full report. A hard copy of the full report can be ordered from Publications, Supervising Scientist Division. A full list of SSD publications including prices is available on the publications page.
- List of participants
- Opening address
- John Mitchell Waste rock dump symposium opening address
- Session 1 Planning and economics
- Keynote paper Graeme Mcliveen Waste rock ‑ from beginning to end: Planning and economic issues
- RJ Richards Environmental regulation of mining in northern Australia
- Rod Applegate How not to construct rock dumps: The former Rum Jungle mine site
- Session 2 Hydrology
- Keynote paper Gany Willgoose Hydrology and erosion
- Rob Loch, Cameron Pocknee & Bernie Kirsch Infiltration properties of spoil and topsoil on opencut coal mines in Qld
- Kenneth Evans & Steven Riley Surficial hydrology of waste rock dumps ‑ management implications
- Session 3 Geochemistry
- Keynote paper A Ian M Ritchie Waste rock dump geochemistry
- Christopher IeGras, Riaz Akber, Anita Andrew & Glen Riley Redox transformations of sulphur in Ranger waste rock and its receptor water bodies, and the role of sulphurisotope measurements
- Session 4 Biological issues
- Keynote paper LC Beg Biological aspects of the rehabilitation of waste rock dumps
- William J Haylock A government approved landform management design
- N Ashwath, PC Cusbert, B Bayliss, M McLaughlin & C Hunt Chemical properties of mine spoils and selected natural soils of the Alligator Rivers Region Implications for establishing native plant species on mine spoils
- Session 5 Geotechnical aspects
- Keynote paper Brian G Richards A rational approach to the stability of waste rock dumps, with a particular emphasis on the multidisciplinary processes involved
- Summation and closing address
- George E Edwards Summation and closing address
The economic imperative for mining coupled with the community expectation that industry will protect and maintain ecosystems in NorthernAustralia within an overall framework of sustainable development has promoted increased interest in the management and rehabilitation of waste rock dumps. The mining industry, both operators and regulators, realise the need for improved management and rehabilitation techniques, particularly with the increasing use of large scale open.pit mining which leads to waste rock dumps of substantial size. The mining industries' recent initiative in forming the Australian Centre for Minesite Rehabilitation Research indicates both the level of interest in issues related to rehabilitation and a desire to undertake rehabilitation using the best available techniques. Indeed, there is substantial evidence of innovative activity with several research groups developing new and efficient techniques of waste rock management and rehabilitation.
Waste rock management and rehabilitation are issues with economic, legal and scientific ramifications which may have significant effects on the viability and profitability of mining operations. Recent examples have shown that rehabilitation costs following inadequate planning have been greater than $100,000 per hectare. Also today's cost of rehandling rock materials may exceed $1.50 for every tonne of rock moved. A sound knowledge of the best applicable technology for management and rehabilitation of waste rock and its integration into mine plans at the earliest stages is necessary if ultimate rehabilitation goals are to be achieved in a cost effective manner This best applicable technology will not be static but change as research outcomes are developed and incorporated into mining practice. Increasing community concern is leading to even more stringent legal and environmental requirements for rehabilitation that must be factored into the mining operation.
The Darwin Branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy and the Office of the Supervising Scientist for the Alligator Rivers Region were aware of the need to provide a forum for the exchange of information on the management and rehabilitation of waste rock. The two organisations have collaborated to facilitate this process of exchange amongst the mining industry, community and regulators. The Waste Rock Dump Symposium was the outcome of that collaboration and brought together key researchers, practitioners and regulators for two days in Darwin, The Symposium encouraged information exchange and promoted contacts between several groups with interests in waste rock management and rehabilitation. These proceedings report the outcome of the symposium.