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Project 3.5

Mined landform stability for regional benefits

Research Program

Operational Solutions

Project Leader

Professor David Williams

Project ID



The key aim of the Project is to assess the geotechnical, erosional and geochemical stability, and acceptability for closure, of past and current mined landforms, to inform suitable future mined landforms for a range of site settings and mineral commodities. The dominant site settings are climate, topography and seismicity, and the range of mineral commodities will include bulk commodities such as coal and iron ore, precious metals, base metals, metals processed from oxide ores, and the associated open pits, overburden dumps, low grade stockpiles, underground workings, and tailings, including fly ash.

The Project will involve a literature search, and input from the experiences of the Project Research and Industry Teams, on the performance of past and current mined landforms globally, covering a range of site settings and mineral commodities. This information will be collated, with published references in an e-library, distilled into a conceptual model of the physical, chemical and biological interactions determining effective mined landform stability post closure in a range of site settings, mining methods, and for a range of mineral commodities, including preliminary recommendations for effective mined landform design, construction and sustainability in the Australian context, and recommendations for further research.

Project Partners

BHP; Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions; Deswik Mining Consultants (Australia) Pty Ltd; Downer; Energy Australia; Federation University Australia; MMG Australia Limited; Newmont Mining Services; Rio Tinto Services Limited; University of Queensland; Department for Energy and Mining, South Australian Government; Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victorian Government; Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Queensland Government; Ecocene P/L (emapper); Landloch Pty. Ltd.; Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd; Golder Associates Pty. Ltd.; Lyonesse Consulting


6 months