PRESS RELEASE: As ore compositions at mines around the world become more complex and the grades of available resources continue to decline, the amount of tailings per tonne of metal produced is rising. Tailings management is a complex issue that encompasses the technology used to dewater the tailings, materials handling and water management, as well as the design and risk management of the tailings storage facility (TSF). Mining companies are making significant investments to improve the efficiency and safety of their tailings management processes, driven by issues such as increasing water scarcity, environmental pressures and legislation and the need to maintain profitability.
To address these challenges, Outotec has developed three new pre-engineered plant products.
The Outotec Thickened Tailings Plant is designed for the management and storage of tailings from concentrators. Tailings thickening can help reduce environmental risks and results in less seepage from the TSF. According to Outotec, the Thickened Tailings Plant offers stable process performance and consistent underflow density to ensure safe and cost-efficient TSF operation.
In addition to thickeners, the delivery scope for the Outotec Thickened Tailings Plant includes the feed system, overflow and underflow pumping and piping systems, gland water system, flocculant feed system, as well as instrumentation and control systems.
The Outotec Dry Tailings Plant solution, in turn, is a fully integrated design that comprises thickening, filtration and dry material handling for the dry stacking of tailings, including all necessary ancillary equipment and systems. This solution is particularly suited to areas where water consumption is a sensitive issue, or where there are strict requirements in terms of the safe operation, management and eventual closure and rehabilitation of the TSF. Dry stack facilities are also resistant to high levels of seismic activity.
In addition, the Outotec Process Water Recycling Plant is a fully automated standalone unit that enables recycling of process water by treating the water in a cost-efficient manner. The plant is specifically designed for concentrator plants, which dewater tailings and recycle the water back to the process. It enables undisturbed process performance by treating recycled water and removing accumulated substances to achieve the desired level of quality for the various duty points of the concentration process.