Learning and Discussion of Innovative ideas about Mining Waste Management and also Mining Related News and Activities




Definition of Terms


Active treatment is the water treatment in which continuous effort is required to improve the quality of water. It requires artificial ongoing energy input and bio-chemical or chemical reagents.

Challenge in the Mine Waste Management refers to difficulties experience by mining industry in managing the mine related wastes in order to effectively protect the surrounding environment.

Landowner compensation is any sum of money paid by an exploration or mining company based on the value of disturbances caused by the company during exploration or mining.

Landowner Grievances is any form of complaints or request raise by landowning clans/tribes/families to the exploration or mining developer. Grievances can be addressed to government or developer/company for consideration and action.

Mercury is a heavy silvery-white liquid metal used in some thermometers and barometers. (Symbol: Hg). It is also used to extract fine gold from the mixture of fine sand. Dispose of mercury into the environment is harmful.

Mine waste disposal is any waste related to mining is disposed into any environment. Environment could be land, river or deep sea or tailings dam. Waste can be either solid or slurry.

Mine water pollution is induce when water from the mine or rain water passes through exposed acid forming rocks/minerals. 


Mining Regulators are the Government organisations that either directly or indirectly regulate the Mining Industry in Papua New Guinea.

Mining Warden Hearing is an open forum to gauge public views of the people who would be affected by an exploration work program or any activity related to mining. It is one of the requirements in the Mining Act 1992 for any kind of mining related licence/lease grant.

PACKTEST is commonly known as Rapid PACKTEST. This test is a simple onsite method of testing water quality which produces amazing results in a split of a second. It does not require complicated analytical techniques to determine the quality of water. Concentration of heavy metals, precious metals and any other elements and compounds in the water are detected using this method. pH of water can also be determined using this method. 

Passive treatment is an intended water treatment method to improve the quality of water by the use  of available natural materials or energy sources in the systems that minimizes the regular maintenance for the system to operate effectively over the entire life of system design.

Waste water pollution is when the miner/operator of the mining project discharge the waster water containing heavy metals into the environment. Both of Mine Water and Waste Water cause the pH of the water to decrease.


Zeolite is as defined in the OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS Dictionary as any of a large group of minerals consisting of hydrated aluminosilicates, used as cation exchangers and molecular sieves.

Well is simply a shaft sunk into the ground or built upwards from certain depths below a natural surface of the ground which extends further above certain heights of the natural surface of the ground 



Definition of terms

1. Mine waste

It is unnecessary substance which comes from mining activities.

1-1 Refuse, Tailings (Waste from concentration process)

Rock or mineral waste which were crushed at concentrator or stamp mill.

1-2 Slag

Residue after smelting (including blue smelting)

1-3 Sludge

A solid from neutralization of mine water or waste water

1-4 Cake

Dehydrated tailings, slags or sludge by dehydrator or filter press before deposition

1-5 Harmful mine waste

The ripraps, slags, sludge which show higher value than the following standards by the elution test

Alkyl mercury compound                NDno detection
Mercury and Mercury compounds   below 0.005mg/l
Cadmium and Cadmium compounds           below 0.3mg/l
Lead and Lead compound               below 0.3mg/l
Chromate compounds                                  below 1.5mg/l
Arsenic and Arsenic compounds                 below 0.3mg/l
Cyanogen compound                                   below 0.3mg/l
Polychlorinated biphenyl                 below 0.003mg/l
Dioxins                                            below 3ng/g

2. Slime or slurry dump

2-1 Method of Deposition (Fig.1)

Accompanying with water, tailings are discharged towards the upstream from the embankment of tailings dam, and deposited by remove the supernatant water from the upstream side.

2-2 Types of sequentially rise tailings dam

(1) Basic Embankment (Fig.2)

While depositing tailings, the basic embankment is heaped up in stages. Both sides of slope are uniformity.

(2) Upstream tailings dam (Fig.3)

After the small embankment was heaped up and tailings were deposited predetermined height, the next embankment is heaped upon previous embankment and deposited tailings. Upstream tailings dam method is the repeating of these embankment and deposition. In this way each embankment is shifted upstream side.

(3) Downstream tailings dam

Downstream tailings dam method is also the repeating of the embankment and deposition. But the newer embankment is shifted to downstream side, so the upstream slope of embankment is uniformity.

(4) Centerline tailings dam (Fig.5)

Each embankment is heaped up on the same centerline. This is Centerline method.

2-3 Materials for Embankment

(1) Stone Embankment

It is mainly made by gravels.

(2) Sand embankment

It is mainly made by sand grain of Refuse and slag.

(3) Fines embankment

It is mainly made by the mixture of clay and silt exclusive of tailings and slags.

(4) Concrete embankment

It is mainly made by concrete

(5) Combined embankment

The main materials are formed by more than 2 kinds of materials.

2-4 Name of the embankment structures (Name of parts)

(1) Dam crest (Fig.6)

It is flat part of the dam top.

(2) Slope toe (Fig.7)

It is the boundary between natural ground and downstream dam slope.

(3) Top of slopedownstream(Fig.8)

It is the boundary between downstream dam slope and dam crest

(4) Top of slopeupstream(Fig.9)

It is the boundary between upstream dam slope and dam crest.

(5) Step of slope (Fig.10)

It is constant steps in the dam slope.

(6) Height of Dam (Fig.11)

It is the maximum height from the Slope toe to the dam crest.

(7) Length of Dam (Fig.12)

It is the length of dam crest center.

(8) Width of dam crest (Fig.13)

It is the width between top of upstream slope and top of downstream slope.

(9) Gradient of downstream slope (Fig.14)

It is the gradient which is the downstream (outside) of embankment in the tailings dam.

(10) Gradient of upstream slope (Fig.15)

It is the gradient which is the upstream (inside) of embankment in the tailings dam.

3. Waste rock/soil dump

3-1 Deposition type

(1) Drop off deposition (Fig.16)

Overburden and waste rocks are dropped off from higher place to pitfall (ex. vacant mining pit).

(2) Anterior deposition (Fig.17)

Overburden and waste rocks are heaped up by the horizontal extension.

(3) Layer deposition (Fig.18.)

It is the depositing method by the making horizontal layers.

4. Water exclusion facility

(1) External water

It is the rain and creek water which may flow into the slurry dump and topsoil dump (here in after “the Damps”).

(2) Internal water

It is a collective term for various kinds of following water,
            * Rain water which is dropped into the Dumps.
            * Water which is sprigged up from the Dumps.
            * Water in the slurries which were discharged into the tailings dam.

(3) External water exclusion facility

It is the facility which guides and excludes external water to the downstream of the Dumps.

(4) Hillside channel

It is one of external water exclusion facilities. The channel is settled between natural slope and the Dumps or settled in the upstream natural slopes.

(5) Exclusion channel for creek

It is the channel which excludes creek and river water to the downstream of the Dumps.

(6) Internal water exclusion facility

It is the facility which guides and excludes internal water to the downstream of the Dumps promptly.

(7) Bottom set culvert

For guiding and excluding of the internal and external water to the downstream of the Dumps, the culvert is settled under the Dumps.

(8) Channel of bank slope

It is the channel which guides and excludes rain water of downstream dam slope.

(9) Emergency facility

The facility will be effective for the emergency when the ordinary water exclusion facility is lost the effect.

(10) Catchment area

It is the area where rain water is accumulated to the area of Dumps.

5. Others

(1) Area of tailings dam

It is the total areas of the dump and the embankment of tailings dam.

(2) Volume of the Dumps

It is the total volumes of the dump and the embankment of tailings dam.

(3) Application document of the constructing plan

The document should be submitted before construction and describe the followings.
            *Location of the tailings dam
            *Name of the tailings dam
            *Area of the tailings dam
            *Volume of the tailings dam
            *Year and Month when the deposition will be started
            *Year and Month when the deposition will be ended.
            *Materials for the tailings dam’s Embankment.
            *Types of sequentially rise tailings dam
            *Stability of the tailings dam’s Embankment.
            *Location of water exclusion facility
            *Structure of water exclusion facility
            *Capacity of water exclusion facility
            *Etc.

(4) Stability analysis for embankment’s slope

It is the calculation the ratio of the forces resisting movement to the forces driving movement. The calculation is generally done by “Swedish Slip Circle Method of Analysis”.

(5) Soil liquefaction (Fig.19)


It is a phenomenon that the embankment materials which are composed of dump deposits or tailings, sand, silt lose their shear strength between soil particles, with the occurrence of excess pore water pressure due to the seismic force.

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