Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Tools for bringing mine reclamation research to commercial implementation McKenna, Gord; O’Kane, Mike; Qualizza, Clara


Mines, universities, and research organizations worldwide spend tens to hundreds of millions of dollars annually on reclamation research, but much goes unimplemented at the commercial scale. Sometimes research results go uncommunicated, but more often, it is other impediments such as lack of understanding, insufficient opportunity to distill and assess all of the implications of the body of research, corporate and regulatory hurdles, and/or a general resistance to change that is the heart of inaction. However, there are some simple strategies and methods for development and commercial implementation of promising research technologies that can substantially multiply the investment of the initial research. One way to streamline the process is to develop a technology transfer plan within a mining company or a mining region. Research is focussed on answering specific questions, provisions are set out for upscaling the research through pilot and demonstration phases in the field, and perhaps most importantly, the results of the research are distilled and communicated to practitioners and decision makers in ways that they can use (e.g. manuals, fact sheets, R&D workshops) such that the results can ultimately be drafted onto blueprints and executed in the field at commercial scale. Examples of reclamation research technology transfer programs, screening and upscaling of tailings and reclamation technologies, and a roadmap for success are presented.[All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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