Mine wastes in Western Australia and their suitability for embankment construction
American Society of Civil Engineers
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Engineering
Western Australia (WA) is considered as a major mining jurisdiction because of its lucrative mining. The state holds large reserves of mineral deposits including iron and gold ores. The treatment processes of the ores are associated with large volumes of waste generation. Some of the wastes are mine tailings, waste rocks, fly ashes, and slags. The disposal of these wastes continues to create economic, environmental and land problems for the mining industries and associated communities. The increasing public awareness of the environmental impact of these activities is an incentive for establishment of alternative handling for these mine wastes. Among the various alternatives, reuse of wastes is the most sustainable way of solving the problem. This paper describes the wastes being generated in WA in large volumes and explores the potential of their use as a construction material for highway and railway embankments. It is found that the properties of some mine wastes are favorable for their use as highway and railway embankment materials in a cost-effective and sustainable way.