Tailing dam dusts pose a signiﬁcant risk to both the environment and human health. Tailing dam sediments are high in heavy metal contamination, including selenium, zinc, nickel, copper, aluminum, iron, manganese, cadmium and lead. Stormwater runoff poses a signiﬁcant erosion risk to tailings dams where sediments are then displaced and discharged into surface water bodies, polluting local waterways and effecting local ﬂora and fauna.
Due to the poor soil conditions, natural vegetation growth can be slow, if at all, resulting in tailings dams being left exposed for several years or even decades following mine closure. Indigenous communities are often left to live with the impacts and consequences.
Vital Chemical was engaged to provide advice on the best short-term solution to stabilise tailings dams to minimise negative social and environmental impacts, until longer-term solutions were planned.
An application of Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall (IGD) at 10% dilution was recommended to stabilise the surface of the tailings dam to minimise dust generation, erosion and stormwater contamination. The Indigenous people of the far North Queensland Region were consulted before any work was undertaken. The sustainable and biodegradable properties of Vital products were explained and aligned with community and cultural expectations.
In this instance, Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall (IGD) was guaranteed for a period of 12 months to provide the required 80% stabilisation of the tailings dam surface.
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