Date of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Type

Publishable Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mining Engineering

Committee Chair

Paul Conrad

First Advisor

Charles Smith

Second Advisor

Scott Rosenthal

Third Advisor

Larry Hunter


The goal of the protocol for reclaiming in-pit tailings ponds to exceed federal and state regulations was to develop a series of steps that can be followed to design, operate, and reclaim a tailings disposal pond that will develop into grazing land with a wetland for open pit sand mines in warm dry climates. By incorporating a wetland into the reclamation design, the post mining land use gives back to both the wildlife as a source of water as well as providing for a diverse range of post mining land use including but not limited to livestock grazing and ranch land use. An example design was completed using this protocol to demonstrate how the protocol can result in in a well-designed, reclaimed tailings disposal pond.