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Encyclopedia > Tailings

Tailings (also known as slickens[1]) are the waste left over[2] after removing the gangue from ore. Ore extracted from the earth's crust typically has two components: the ore mineral containing the desired metal, and waste material called gangue. Iron ore (Banded iron formation) Manganese ore Lead ore Gold ore An ore is a volume of rock containing components or minerals in a mode of occurrence which renders it valuable for mining. ... Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. ... Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. ...

Tailings and gangue are the uneconomic remainder from mining; as mining techniques and the price of minerals improve it is not unusual for tailings to be reprocessed using new methods or more thoroughly with old methods, perhaps to recover minerals other than those originally mined. In economics external cost refers to a negative side-effect of an economic transaction, an act of exchange, consumption, or production. ...

In coal production and oil sands mining, the word 'tailings' refers specifically to fine waste suspended in water and the word 'gangue' is never used. Tar sands, also referred to as oil sands or bituminous sands, are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen. ...


Effects on the environment

Certain types of extraction methods, like heap leaching for example, leave behind toxic compounds in the tailings. Large-scale operations often leave huge piles of this material on site. Particles of toxic metals blown by the wind or leached by rainfall can contaminate surface water and groundwater. In other cases, tailings are specifically disposed of in bodies of water, rasing the issue of water pollution. Heap leaching is an industrial mining process to extract precious metals and copper compounds from ore. ... Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Wind is the roughly horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by uneven heating of the Earths surface. ... Leaching is the process of extracting a substance from a solid by dissolving it in a liquid. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Surface water is water on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, sea or ocean; as opposed to groundwater. ... Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of geologic formations. ... Water pollution Water pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies (lakes, rivers, oceans, groundwater) caused by human activities. ...

A specific method of disposal called submarine tailings disposal (STD), is outlawed in the United States via the Clean Water Act, and in most other locations in the developed world. It was used by Utah Construction and Mining Ltd. at the Island Copper Mine in Canada from 1971 until 1995.[3] These standards are not always established or enforced in the developing world.[4] STD was selected as the lowest-impact disposal method for the Minahas Mine at Buyat Bay in Indonesia.[5][6] Transnational mining companies, like Newmont Mining, Placer Dome, Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton, have come under attack for operating or planning STD at mines throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The International Council on Mining and Metals asserts that STD should not be banned outright, but considered as an alternative to other disposal solutions where appropriate.[7] The Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C.A. § 1251 et seq. ... A developed country is a country that has achieved (currently or historically) a high degree of industrialization, and which enjoys the higher standards of living which wealth and technology make possible. ... For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ... A multinational corporation (MNC) or multinational enterprise (MNE) or transnational corporation (TNC) is a corporation/enterprise that manages production establishments or delivers services in at least two countries. ... Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM), based in Denver, Colorado, USA, is the worlds largest producer of gold, with active mines in Canada, Bolivia, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. ... Placer Dome TSX: PDG is a large mining company specializing in gold and other precious metals, with corporate headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ... Rio Tinto is a multinational mining and resources group founded originally in 1873. ... BHP Billiton is the worlds largest mining company. ... Map of the Pacific Rim and List of the Pacific Rim Nations The Pacific Rim is a political and economic term used to designate the countries on the edges of the Pacific Ocean, as well as the various island nations within the region. ...

Often, as in the case of riverbed metal extraction, this has buried valuable river-flat soils under the largely worthless and often contaminated tailings. Modern extraction methods have resulted in less damage but land rehabilitation continues to be a major problem and costly consideration. In chemistry, liquid-liquid extraction is a useful method to separate components (compounds) of a mixture. ... For the heavy metal band see Soil (band) Soil is the layer of minerals and organic matter, in thickness from centimetres to a metre or more, on the land surface. ... The Lachine Canal, in Montreal, is badly polluted Pollution is the release of harmful environmental contaminants, or the substances so released. ... Land rehabilitation is the process of returning the land in a given area to some degree of its former self, after some process (business, industry, natural disaster etc. ...

Common contents of tailings

General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Atomic mass 74. ... Baryte with Cerussite from Morocco Baryte with Galena and Hematite from Poland Barite (BaSO4) is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. ... SAM WAS HERE!!!!!!!!!! Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ... A cyanide is any chemical compound that contains the cyano group C≡N, with the carbon atom triple-bonded to the nitrogen atom. ... Fluorite (also called fluor-spar) is a mineral composed of calcium fluoride, CaF2. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 200. ... The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron disulfide, FeS2. ... Quartz is amongst one of the most common minerals in the Earths continental crust. ...

External links


  1. ^ Baumgart, Don. Pressure Builds to End Hydraulic Gold Mining. California Gold Rush Stories. Nevada County Gold. URL accessed on 2006-05-10.
  2. ^ Golden Gamble in Grass Valley. YubaNet.com. URL accessed on 2006-05-14.
  3. ^ The Environmental Impact of Submarine Tailings Disposal At The Island Copper Mine on Vancouver Island: A Case History In Environmental Policy. (pdf) URL accessed on 2006-05-11.
  4. ^ (2001-04-30) Manado Declaration on Submarine Tailings Disposal. Mines and Communities. URL accessed on 2006-05-11.
  5. ^ New York Times/Frontline Series on Gold Mining. Newmont Mining. URL accessed on 2006-05-11.
  6. ^ Buyat Bay Facts. URL accessed on 2006-05-11.
  7. ^ (16 June 2003) ICMM preliminary comments on the draft Framework for Responsible Mining. (pdf) ICMM. URL accessed on 2006-05-11.

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