Mine tailings are waste materials that resulted from the extraction and processing of raw materials to form mineral products. These dusty particles present negative environmental effects after being deposited in different types of dumping areas. Based on the circular economy concepts and the presently pushing need of identifying wastes as a potential replacement for natural resources, this chapter aims to present the physical (density, microstructure) and mechanical (compressive strength, flexural strength) characteristics of different types of geopolymers which use mine tailings as precursors or blended systems (mixes of different raw materials). The main reasons of approaching this topic are the need to decrease the consumption of natural resources, reduce environmental pollution and create an economic system aimed to capitalize the mining wastes. Accordingly, this chapter includes information regarding the availability of this waste and its potential utilization as a raw material in civil engineering applications. Therefore, reports of specific agencies and multiple research studies which approach tailing based geopolymers or blended systems have been summarized.
Part of the book: Advances in Geopolymer-Zeolite Composites