F. Claridge, W. Funk, & L. Martin
ABSTRACT: The perspective on mine waste management practices has been evolving over the past decade to account for major shifts in mine economics, social awareness, growing knowledge of the effects of mining on the environment and, an increasingly stringent regulatory environment. One response from these drivers is the desire to reduce or even eliminate the need for long term water treatment following mine closure.
The paper provides examples of modifications to waste management practices at coal mining operations in western Canada, including measures that are currently being researched for reducing the release of selenium and other mineral constituents. Using a broad sustainability-based lens, it discusses the pros and cons associated with potential measures to deal with this issue. These include covers, water diversions, subaqueous deposition, creation of biologically active dump environments and water treatment.
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The Evolution of Coal Mine Wast Management Practices in Western Canada