Challenging the conventional – Dry tailings can be efficient
In the early stages of the mining industry, tailings were disposed in the most convenient manner, such as in downstream running water or down drains. Because of concerns about these sediments in water and other issues, tailing ponds came into use. However, considering the recent tailing dam failures and growing need to use water more responsibly, and the prerequisite for the mines to keep their costs in control, a completely new and forward-looking approach is needed for tailings management.
The way tailings are handled can have a long-term impact on the mines’ economic efficiency as well as on the ecology. Metso believes dry stacking of tailings as the most promising and sustainable way forward.
High capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) are the two key elements of profitability which have been a barrier for mining companies to invest in dewatering solutions. At Metso we are challenging the conventional thinking, while changing the industry view around the costs associated with dry tailings and stacking. Contrary to the conventional belief, dry tailings can be more efficient from a CAPEX and OPEX perspective when compared with wet or paste tailings.