Water conservation, efficient tailings management and responsible mine reclamation are becoming increasingly important for mines to ensure their license to operate.
Spearheaded by the launch of the new Metso VPX filter for tailings dewatering, Metso introduces its comprehensive tailings management concept to enable and support environmentally and economically sustainable mining.
“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”, says Victor Tapia, President, Mining Equipment business area at Metso.
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.
More sustainable and cost-efficient mining through dry filtered tailings
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 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.
“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,” says Niclas Hällevall, vice president of Beneficiation Solutions, Mining Equipment business area. “Contrary to conventional belief, dry tailings are also much more CAPEX and OPEX efficient compared to wet or thickened tailings.”
Recovering up to 90% water in tailings with the new Metso VPX filter
Metso Tailings Management Solutions bundle Metso’s proven beneficiation technologies into a full, customisable and future-ready suite of solutions. As regards the core component, Metso is now taking filtration technology to the next level by introducing the Metso VPX filter – a new generation filtration solution for maximum water recovery and reuse.