Thirty years of tailings seepage history from tailings & mine waste Brixel, Bernard; Caldwell, Jack A.
This paper explores thirty and more years of the development of methods and approaches to the evaluation, analysis, and quantification of seepage into, through, and from tailings impoundment to subsurface soil and rock and the subsequent impact thereof on the environment. This is done by way of a survey of technical papers that have been published in the proceedings of the conferences on Tailings & Mine Waste. The story told in this paper is of the movement from simple professional understanding of the geology through the development of flow nets, computer codes, 3D modeling of seepage and geochemical interaction, an understanding of acid drainage and the many ways to deal with it, and hence the current ability of mines to understand, predict, and control potential impact of tailings seepage to the environment. [All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]
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