Wastes and waste facilities Research and Development

Teemu Karlsson & Päivi M. Kauppila, Geological Survey of Finland, P.O.Box 1237, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland, teemu.karlsson(at)gtk.fi

The wastes and waste facilities are the most prominent sources of pollution after mine closure. To predict the long term behaviour of disposed material and to minimize the amount of waste itself trough efficient utilization, a proper characterization of the waste material is crucial. Also the methods available to successfully close a waste facility and to remediate the impacted areas are dependent on the geochemical processes derived from the properties of disposed material.

Quality of the seepage waters from the waste facilities, and thus the need for water treatment, also depends on the waste characteristics. To predict the behaviour of mine waste material, various analytical methods are being used, including ABA-tests, NAG-tests, leachability tests, etc. (see Characterisation). To make the predictions as accurate as possible, the mine waste characterisation methods need to be developed and updated to be suitable for different kinds of deposit types and climatic conditions.

Long-term performance of closure solutions is essential in mine waste management. Selection of proper technologies requires thorough understanding of the waste characteristics and behaviour – as well as on the site specific conditions. Applicability of closure options can be tested with laboratory work or in field-scale.

These web pages present the results of the Waste and waste facilities Research and Development projects carried out during Closedure project. The aims of the research were to evaluate the effectiveness of waste characterization methods to assess seepage water quality of waste facilities and to study the applicability of laboratory experiments in evaluating closure solutions. Results of the studies are presented in the following articles:

Effectiveness of waste characterisation methods to predict seepage water quality of waste facilities:

Applicability of laboratory experiments in evaluating closure solutions:

Figure 1. Sampling of the tailings seepage water at the Hammaslahti mine site, Finland. Photo © P. Kauppila, GTK.