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Defining Residual Risk for Successful Mine Closure – a Geochemical Perspective


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Author M Edraki, P Pham, J Park, T Baumgartl, B Noller and B Forsyth


Understanding and quantifying residual risk is the key to the successful closure and rehabilitation of mines. An important aspect of residual risk is predicting the long-term chemistry of mine water and the long-term geochemical stability of mining wastes. This requires updating the characterisation data for mine wastes and monitoring mine drainage throughout the life-of-mine. The intrinsic properties of waste materials (ie the geology, mineralogy and the weathering processes, which in turn depend on the local climate and water balance in a waste storage facility) are the fundamental controlling factors of residual risk. In this paper, case studies of coal and metalliferous mines are used to discuss the definition of residual risk for a range of waste storage facilities and to highlight the benefits and limitations of current geochemical methods in predicting and quantifying residual risk. Consistent with the classification of mine drainage by the Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide, three case studies of acid, saline and neutral drainage are presented.


Edraki, M, Pham, P, Park, J,
Baumgartl, T, Noller, B and Forsyth, B, 2016. Defining residual risk for
successful mine closure – a geochemical perspective, in Proceedings
Life-of-Mine 2016 Conference
, pp 9–11 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).