February 2018
Volume 70    Issue 2

Reclamation of iron ore tailings; Innovations in establishing native vegetation

Mining Engineering , 2018, Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 16-16
Kramer, Allyz; White, Natalie; Asp, Joel


Minnesota has robust reclamation standards and have proven results in the taconite mining industry. Reclamation of overburden spoils, lean ore spoils and fine tailings from taconite production has generally been successful on the Iron Range, using a low input standard reclamation practice. Success at reestablishing vegetation on these landscapes is likely due to fairly favorable chemical and physical properties (e.g., few limitations due to acidic generating materials, metal toxicities and water and nutrient holding capacities). However, coarse tailings reclamation has proven more difficult, presumably due to lower nutrients and challenges with moisture holding capacities. Research efforts conducted since 1990 have struggled to develop a reclamation strategy for coarse tailings that meets the Minnesota Mineland Reclamation Rules, Chapter 6130.  

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