The Bureau of Mines conducted research to provide technical information needed to devise waste management plans for the processing of manganese nodules. Studies included summary descriptions of Pacific manganese nodules, process options and flowsheets, methods for characterizing nodules and their tailings, and results of analyses of laboratory and pilot plant generated tailings. This information is the result of a cooperative research effort of the Bureau of Mines and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with NOAA providing funding and the Bureau conducting the research. A summary of the extensive literature review is provided for manganese nodule mineralogy, chemistry, processing techniques, and methods of analyses. Characterizations and analyses of laboratory-generated tailings and slags are given, as well as the results of the leaching studies on these waste materials. Leachability was determined by three standard leachate tests--the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extraction procedure (ep) toxicity test, the American Society for Testing and Materials shake extraction test, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-EPA seawater elutriant test. While the wastes generated in the laboratory may not be entirely representative of those to be generated in full-scale plants, results of these studies provide a positive indication that commercial recovery of cobalt, copper, manganese, and nickel from manganese nodules would be environmentally acceptable.