Mine waste as an economic prospect

CSIRO Cutting Edge Science and Engineering Symposium, 2019 • Clayton, Victoria Australia


Anita Parbhakar-Fox

Senior Research Fellow at University of Queensland

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Talk summary

In Australia there are reported to be 50,000+ abandoned mine sites with a significant proportion of these in need for rehabilitation to reduce the environmental risks posed to the neighbouring environments by the contained mine waste. But, have governments and mine operators been overlooking the economic potential of these wastes? Instead of focussing on treating the acid and metalliferous drainage emanating from these wastes or reducing the quantity of potentially hazardous dusts generated when these waste materials are left uncovered should we instead be looking at these sites as the next generation of ore deposits? In Tasmania, we have adopted a geometallurgical approach to charactering mine waste deposits. Through our investigations we have identified potential deposits of critical metals including cobalt and indium. By developing a workflow that allows for the efficient assessment of recommercialisation potential more tangible rehabilitation opportunities for Australia’s mine waste sites are presented with significant socio-environmental benefits to be gained.

About this talk




On May 27th, 2019


CSIRO Cutting Edge Science and Engineering Symposium, 2019 (go to website)


Clayton, Victoria Australia

Audience size

In front of 45 people