In the disposal of mining wastes, economic, safety and environmental considerations must be reconciled. The paper describes a new method of lagoon construction for disposing of fine residues (tailings) from the English China Clay industry which promises substantial economic and environmental benefits. A full-scale trial is in operation.

The design of the scheme is based on the assumption that the tailings will not be susceptible to liquefaction. This assumption is discussed in relation to the nature of the tailings and previous research before the initial results of a current laboratory investigation are presented.

Seepage from the new lagoon is being investigated by means of instrumentation. The seepage pattern depends on a complex distribution of permeability, which is also highly anisotropic. An account is given of an approximate prediction of future seepage patterns as development continues and of the alternative drainage measures which are being investigated.

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