How to Identify Potentials and Barriers of Raw Materials Recovery from Tailings? Part I: A UNFC-Compliant Screening Approach for Site Selection

Rudolf Suppes, Soraya Heuss-Aßbichler
<span title="2021-03-16">2021</span> <i title="MDPI AG"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Resources</a> </i> &nbsp;
Mapping the raw material (RM) potential of anthropogenic RMs, such as tailings, requires a comprehensive assessment and classification. However, a simple procedure to quickly screen for potentially viable RMs recovery projects similar to reconnaissance exploration of natural mineral RMs is missing. In this article, a quick and efficient approach to systematically screen tailings storage facilities (TSFs) is presented to evaluate if a particular TSF meets the criteria to be assessed in a more
more &raquo; ... anced study including costly on-site exploration. Based on aspects related to a TSF's contents, physical structure, surroundings, potential environmental and social impacts, and potentially affected stakeholders, it guides its user in compiling the information at local scale in a structured manner compliant with the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC). The test application to the TSF Bollrich (Germany), situated in a complex environment close to various stakeholders, demonstrates that a quick and remote assessment with publicly accessible information is possible. Since an assessment of tailings under conventional classification codes from the primary mining industry neglects relevant aspects, it is concluded that tailings should be considered as anthropogenic RMs. The developed screening approach can help to create a TSF inventory which captures project potentials and barriers comprehensively.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.3390/resources10030026</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:vyrpgsxmzbdplg4i3p55aegy3e</a> </span>
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