Findings of International Review of Soil Cover Design and Construction Practices for Mine Waste Closure

Maritz Rykaart, Daryl Hockley, Michael Noel and Michael Paul
Sunday, March 26, 2006
First presented: 
ICARD 2006

Selected results of an international review of soil cover design and construction practices and performance is presented in this paper. The review, which was carried out in 2003, initially included 177 case studies in 14 countries. This has subsequently been updated to include more than 200 individual case studies. The case studies include soil covers for tailings impoundments, waste rock piles, backfilled pits and heap leach pads. The mining operations included precious metals, uranium, coal and oil sands. This is the first international review to focus on the practical questions related to soil cover construction practices, and specifically how that relates to long-term cover performance. This paper provides some suggestions as to how operators, regulators and practitioners could improve soil cover design and construction practices, as learned from these actual case studies.

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