Study on mine wastes as potential resource for brick manufacturing in Western Australia
Research Publishing Services
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Engineering
Western Australia (WA) is known for its extensive mining activities, and therefore it is in the list of mining jurisdictions of the world. The types of mines in WA cover a wide range of minerals including iron and gold ores. The refining processes of the ores are associated with huge amount of waste generation. Some of the wastes generated are top soils, overburdens, waste rocks, tailings, waste water, ashes, slags, etc. The disposal of these wastes continues to create economic, environmental and legislative problems for the mining industries. To ensure sustainable handling of mine wastes so as to meet community expectations and legislative requirements, these wastes must be handled effectively. Among various options, reuse of wastes is the most sustainable way of countering these problems. This paper explores the potential of using mine tailings available in WA for brick manufacturing. It is found that the mine tailings alone have low plasticity and therefore if it is mixed with some selected soils, it could result in favorable properties that can suit brick manufacturing. This paper discusses the selection of raw materials for bricks from the large volumes of mine tailings in a cost-effective and sustainable way.