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Finnish mine waste disposal areas

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeosynthetics Mining Solutions 2014
PublisherInfomine
ISBN (Print)978-0-9917905-5-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventGeosynthetics Mining Solutions - , Canada
Duration: 2 Sep 2014 → …

Conference

ConferenceGeosynthetics Mining Solutions
CountryCanada
Period2/09/14 → …

Abstract

In 2013, a total of forty-six mines and quarries were operating in Finland, and several new mining projects were in progress. Both mining and environmental legislation and dam safety regulations have been developed and renewed during recent years, and the mining and permitting authorities have changed.
Due to problems at the Talvivaara Mine in 2013, the Finnish government decided to implement a voluntary stress test for Finnish mines. The method was developed based on the stress test designed for nuclear power plants by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG). Altogether twenty-
one mines or concentrating plants were chosen to be tested, and twenty responded. In the stress test questionnaire there were fifteen questions on seven risk scenarios that the nominated expert group assessed to be both potential and significant. There are sixty-seven tailings dams in Finland. Nine of them have been classified as Class 1 (“consequence class”), that is, dams which could cause loss of life in the event of dam failure. The study showed that the hydrological design of tailings dams has to be reconsidered. One finding of the stress test was that the dam safety legislation and the guidelines do not define criteria for the closure of tailings dams. Based on the results, mining companies are monitoring their dams quite well and are aware of dam safety risks, probably thanks to the detailed dam safety legislation. However, the base of the waste areas is typically ignored. Old mining waste areas are mainly built on natural soil layer without any liners. New mining waste areas require an environmental permit, which contains requirements for the bottom liners as
well.

Keywords

  • mining, waste, liner, geosynthetics

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland