Rehabilitation of Tailings Storage Facilities by re-seeding: A review of 10 years of research

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Klaus Kellner

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Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF) developed after mining operations are characterized by different shapes, sizes, and growth mediums, depending on the ore that is mined and the use of top-soil. TSF are generally rehabilitated by grass species to stabilize the surface (reduce erosion and pollution) and for aesthetic reasons. Research carried out by scientists and post-graduate students at the North-West University in collaboration with AGT Foods over 10 years will be presented. This includes results from the rehabilitation of mainly gold and platinum TSF that have been re-seeded by different coated and non-coated grass seed types as well as natural soil conditions characterized by different clay textures as the control. Data from laboratory, nursery, glasshouse, and field trials in different ameliorated soils will be compared. Results indicate that the soil-, climatic- and other environmental conditions, as well as the slope geometry of the TSF, the amelioration technique, seed type, and the pre-seeding conditions (such as seed traits, storage facilities including temperature and moisture contents, harvesting and coating techniques) will influence the rehabilitation success. It is evident that no single recipe exists and that all attributes have to be considered per specific site before making sound decisions for the rehabilitation of TSF.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration