What is Tailings?

Definition of Tailings in Construction

Term that applies to material that is produced as a by-product of a site work process, or other type of construction operation. The process involved, could be the crushing of stone or concrete, or the scalping of the same product. Tailings are the miscellaneous products or spoils, that are left over, once the intended product is produced. For example if the screens on a scalper, are set up to produce 3/4″ stone, the other materials that is segregated from the 3/4″ stone are called tailings. If the tailings have material that can be further processed and separated from the initial operation, the tailings can be additionally screened and segregated. At some point in the process, depending on the needs of the project as well as the economics involved, the tailings will not be worth the financial effort to continue to process. At this point the tailings are normally not used for any specific applications, but can be used as a general fill material. Tailings are normally a rock mixture of various sizes and shapes. In addition the mix may have substantial vegetative materials within the tailings, which eliminates the ability to use this material for either backfill of structural fill.