The company noted that water conservation, efficient tailings management and responsible mine reclamation are becoming increasingly important for mines to ensure their license to operate.
Victor Tapia, president, mining equipment business area at Metso, said: "Our ambition is to challenge the conventional way of looking at tailings management in mining. In practice, this means that besides environmental and regulatory concerns related to tailings, we need to improve the conservation of water, chemicals and ore, as well as looking for opportunities to reprocess tailings and generate value by extracting any remaining minerals. Ultimately, it allows transforming legacy practices in tailings management into a new, positive value creation model."
Metso is driving this change by introducing a new concept for the dewatering, handling and reprocessing of tailings. Designed to maximise water recovery and reduce the footprint of tailings dams or eliminate them completely, Metso Tailings Management Solutions provide a long-term solution for mining companies looking for a viable approach to their tailings management and end-of-mine strategies.
The company noted that there are a huge amount of tailings discharged and lying in legacy dams. Today, only about 5% of tailings are dewatered while roughly 70% of the mines are located in countries where water scarcity is considered as an issue. The way tailings are handled can have a long-term impact on the mines' economic efficiency as well as on the well-being of the surrounding environment and communities.
Niclas Hällevall, VP of beneficiation solutions, mining equipment business area at Metso, commented: "Metso views dry filtered tailings as the most viable and long-term solution for tailings management: it helps in recycling significantly more water to the concentrator, while enabling mines to reduce their freshwater footprint when compared to traditional tailings impoundments. Furthermore, the risk of tailings dam failure could be completely avoided by dewatering and dry stacking the tailings. Contrary to conventional belief, dry tailings are also much more CAPEX and OPEX efficient compared to wet or thickened tailings."
Metso Tailings Management Solutions bundle Metso's existing beneficiation technologies into a full, customisable suite of solutions. As regards the core component, Metso is introducing the Metso VPX filter, a new generation filtration solution for maximum water recovery and reuse.
The Metso VPX ﬁlter can handle difficult-to-dewater tailings, because it has up to 25 bars operating pressure, the highest pressure in its category. This enables up to 90% water recovery. The Metso VPX is also equipped with a fully electromechanical drive system and no hydraulics, making it the safest solution on the market. With its modular design, the Metso VPX filter is scalable as well as easily transportable to the site in standard containers.
The Metso VPX filter is available for mining customers globally and the company stated that it is an ideal solution for range of dewatering applications.