by mathew cook
No matter the mining and processing operation, waste disposal will always be a significant aspect of the operation. The tailings byproduct of mineral or coal processing is part and parcel of the refinement process. While it is possible to use old workings and pits as a final resting place for tailings, most mines build a tailings storage facility (TSF) or an impoundment.
Depending on location and the mineralogy of the operation, the TSF usually poses a liability. So, all parts of a tailings distribution and management system need to be monitored so that they do not have a negative impact on production, infrastructure, equipment, personnel, land owners or the environment.
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