An example of the volumes of tailings and other waste that can be generated in a large copper mine.
The scale of a large copper mine can make it difficult to comprehend the challenge of safely storing tailings. The example below illustrates just how much ore, waste rock, tailings and water are involved in the production of copper. Copper concentrate generally contains 20 to 30 per cent copper; for this example, 270 000 tonnes per day of mined material may produce 1 750 tonnes of copper.
From collection: Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident