Perspective

The Challenges of Reusing Mining and Mineral-Processing Wastes

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 702-703
DOI: 10.1126/science.1224757

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Mining and mineral-processing wastes are one of the world’s largest chronic waste concerns. Their reuse should be included in future sustainable development plans, but the potential impacts on a number of environmental processes are highly variable and must be thoroughly assessed. The chemical composition and geotechnical properties of the source rock determine which uses are most appropriate and whether reuse is economically feasible. If properly evaluated, mining waste can be reused to reextract minerals, provide additional fuel for power plants, supply construction materials, and repair surface and subsurface land structures altered by mining activities themselves.

View Full Text