Depending on the geological setting, waste rock from mining can present risks to achieving acceptable closure outcomes. In the Pilbara iron ore mines, the majority of waste rock is geochemically inert. However, small percentages of pyritic material with the potential to generate acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) require considered management within mine waste stockpiles designed to minimise AMD release to the environment. A larger percentage of waste rock has physical characteristics (e.g. erodibility) that may impact upon long-term landform stability.
Marton, R, Wright, R, Lowry, M and Bettison, M, 2018. The golden thread of waste characterisation from exploration drilling to waste rock placement, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2018, pp 90–92 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).