Uranium Rehabilitation & Tailings Management

Portal Reminder

Note: All information within the portal is confidential to MCA members only and must be viewed and used in accordance with the Terms of Use.

About the Minerals Council of Australia

The MCA is the leading advocate for Australia's world class minerals industry, promoting and enhancing sustainability, profitability and competitiveness. The MCA represents a world-leading minerals sector that is dynamic, diverse, sustainable and valued by all Australians. Read more.

Acknowledgement of Country

The MCA acknowledges and pays its respects to past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and linked publications may contain images or names of people who have since died.

Rehabilitation

Uranium mine rehabilitation relies on the same principles, frameworks, standards and general guidance that apply to rehabilitation practice across the resources industry.

Planning the closure of a uranium mine, as with all mines, begins with the first planning for development and operation of the mine. Rehabilitation will begin when a mine is operating and continue well after the mine is closed.

While there are best practice principles and guidelines for closure planning, each project and each operating mine is unique including geological, climatic, metallurgical, hydrological, economic and cultural aspects.

Rehabilitation and closure plans are regularly reviewed and updated in light of changing technology and practice and to reflect cultural change and changes in expectations of traditional owners and other stakeholders.

Tailings Management

Uranium tailings result from the mining and processing of uranium bearing ore above a defined cut-off grade.

The ore is typically reduced to sand and silt sizes by initial crushing followed by fine grinding. It is then subjected to further processing that involves acid or alkaline leaching to chemically extract the uranium.

The crushed and ground rock wasted which remains after extraction of the uranium forms the majority of the tailings solids.