GOSPODARKA SUROWCAMI MINERALNYMI-MINERAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, vol.27, no.3, pp.81-94, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
The safe environmental disposal of sulphide-rich copper/zinc mine tailings is fast becoming a major economic factor in determining the profitability of mining operations. There have been new approaches and better technologies practised in the recent years which allow the mining industries to reduce and/or eliminate the environmental impacts of harmful mine tailings. One of these approaches is the use of high-density paste backfill (HDPB) which is consisting mainly of a mix of solid particles (with the cement) and water, containing between 70% and 85% by dry weight of solids. The increased use of HDPB has improved the reliability, and has reduced the cost of the preparation and transportation systems. This paper focuses on the potential environmental benefits of using the HDPB when tailings are acid generating, and also provides a case study conducted in an underground copper/zinc mine in northeast Turkey in order to illustrate these benefits.