Reducing the Long Term Risk and Enhancing the Closure of Tailings Impoundments

Author: A. Adams, C. Hall, K. Brouwer
Conference: 87th Annual Meeting of the International Commission on Large Dams
Date: June 9-14, 2019


Tailings impoundments typically provide long-term storage for saturated, semi-fluid fine grained materials. Closure of these tailings impoundments represents an ongoing priority and challenge for owners and professionals due to the potential for the impounded tailings to fluidize and flow in the event of a dam failure. This paper provides a case study for the decommissioned Nye Tailings Impoundment at the Stillwater Mine. The closure plan includes capping the loose, saturated tailings with a thick waste rock layer to stabilize the impounded tailings, mitigate potential dusting and provide for water management.


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