From tailings to soil: in situ remediation in mine site rehabilitation (2016–2018)
Over 7 Gt of tailings are produced globally every year, comprising complex mineral assemblages at extremes of pH and salinity with minimal biological activity. By enhancing and guiding abiotic and biotic processes of soil development, this project aims to accelerate the in situ remediation of bauxite residue (alumina refining tailings). This project will build detailed knowledge on the chemical, physical, and biological properties of bauxite residue and apply this to develop field-scale in situ remediation strategies. Concurrently, this research will deliver fundamental advances in our understanding of soil development and primary succession of microbial communities in extreme, anthropogenic environments such as those presented by tailings.