In the and regions of Australia, fine-grained slurried wastes produced during gold mining are typically disposed of in large storages using subaerial deposition. Management of the storage is often aimed at maximising the evaporative drying that occurs, thereby maximising the density achieved. Ore processing is conducted using groundwater that can have salinities that approach solution saturation. Precipitation of salts on the tailings surfaces during evaporation leads to the development of thin salt crusts that can significantly reduce the rate of evaporation. Quantification of the actual rate of evaporation from the drying tailings surfaces is important for assessing disposal strategies. Different methods of estimating evaporation were employed at mine sites in Western Australia (WA) to provide more information on the drying behaviour of saline tailings. These techniques are described and typical results from a saline tailings storage are presented. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.