Mineral wastes as alternative, sustainable construction material
The volume of solid waste, including tailings from mineral processing activities, is one of the main pollution concerns in the mining industry. In the tiny state of Goa, India, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find space to dump these huge volumes. And therefore ways of utilizing these mine wastes need to be found.
Some current research is examining the suitability of these wastes for use in civil engineering construction in Goa. A number of tests were conducted on the aggregate part of mine wastes for their physico-mechanical and toxicological properties. Particle size classification suggests that the mine wastes contain coarse-grained rock, sand, silt and clays.
Studies have established that these wastes contain acid-producing mineral phases and high concentrations of heavy metals that can jeopardize the environment if management of these wastes is not properly addressed. A research paper presents the results that were obtained on the concrete of various mixes using the aggregates from mine wastes.
The research concludes that, consistent with current civil engineering codes of practice for construction, these mineral wastes can be used as an alternative to granite and other construction materials.
The authors of the paper are Y. Mohan, Vanda Karpe, E. H. Reddy, K. N. Subhash and P. G. Ranjith ([email protected]). Mohan and Ranjith are from the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Melbourne, Australia. Karpe, Reddy and Subhash are with the Government Polytechnic Mayem, Bicholim 403 504, Goa, India.