Definition - What does Tailings mean?

The term tailings refer to the post-production refuse resulting from drilling. This refuse is made up of drilling fluid and either rock or soil, resulting in a slurry. Tailings can also include any chemicals used to extract valuable resources from the surrounding rock in mining projects. The tailings are stored in pits called tailing ponds in their slurry form.

Trenchlesspedia explains Tailings

Tailing ponds are an important focus of the restoration phase of a project. By using trenchless techniques, a company greatly reduces the number of tailings and the magnitude of their restoration.

Tailings are a most common in mining, ore extraction and the oil industry. Traditionally, tailings were just bits of rock left over after the valuable minerals had been pulverized out of it, but modern techniques use water and chemicals to extract resources. This had led to rising concern from the public as to the safety of those ponds and the contaminants therein. Tailings are a waste product, therefore, they fall under the umbrella of waste management and require day-to-day management in order to prevent environmental contamination.

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