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|Mine waste characterization and risk assessment currently focesses on water quality and largely ignores boththe charteristics of the wastes themselves and how wastes interact with the environment. Characterization of the parameters that control contamination of pore waters and their migration can quantitatively assess risk and remediation strategies in terms of cost effectiveness and risk reduction. Since mine waste characteristics are spatial, geostatistical methods should be used for characterization and assessment. A number of geostatistical methods are reviewed in terms of their application to mine waste sampling, modeling and risk assessment and management.|