Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


The mining and processing of mineral ores presents significant waste management issues due to the large quantities of waste generated and the environmental characteristics of that waste. Conventional waste management options are considered unsustainable and impractical, therefore consideration of alternative options, such as recycling, require investigation. This research analyzed the environmental characteristics of three mining residual samples from the Tri State Mining District to determine if they could be potentially recycled into an unbound highway application.

Testing found that all three samples could be a potentially acceptable aggregate substitute if implemented correctly. Leaching tests showed that the materials did not leach cadmium, lead or zinc above the EPA national drinking water MCL at neutral pH values. Slightly acidic concentrations can yield cadmium and lead concentrations above the MCL, however no acid generation potential was witnessed in any of the samples tested.