Our water efficient technologies

water efficient
Water management is a growing challenge for mines because they are often located in water-scarce areas. As the demand for battery metals grows, the demand for water will also increase; good water management is a license to operate for the mines. The ability to access water can in some cases be at least as important as the quality and grade of the ore body.

Water efficient solutions

Effective water stewardship requires mineral processing technologies that optimize consumption and improve water quality. We have solutions to address environmental, health and safety, and societal risks in customer operations that involve water. These cover water re-use and include equipment for sustainable tailings processing, water recovery improvements with dry stacking and tailings ponds conversions into valuable resources.

Our approach to water stewardship includes a variety of diverse solutions and services. It is about respecting the precious role of water by reducing water and waste throughout the value chain. Water can be reduced not only by improving the efficiency of use but also by reducing the amount of waste that is in contact with water. We already have technologies that support this, such as:

  • Dry processing alternatives in a broader portion of plant flowsheets
  • Sorting and separation processes which reduce the amount of fine tailings
  • Dewatering technologies like paste thickening and filtration to reduce water intake by improving water recovery from tailings

Tailings disposal and management

Tailing’s disposal is the activity where most of the water is lost. Therefore, technologies that maximize the recovery of water from tailings help drive the efficient use of water. The same applies to technologies that change the way that the ore is processed to reduce the number of fine tailings. Technologies that improve operational efficiency by reducing water consumption can also improve energy efficiency.

De-risking tailings storage by using less water is an area where our technology can transform our customers’ existing operations. Our dewatering technologies, like paste thickening and filtration, can reduce water intake by improving water recovery from tailings. The same applies to technologies that change the way the ore is processed, such as our ore sorting and separation processes that reduce the amount of fine tailings.


Tailings disposal and management
Water management

Water management

With the increasing complexity of ores, declining ore grades and the lower quality water resources, water management is becoming more and more important within minerals processing. In minerals processing, high quality may not always be necessary, but the right quality is often a better solution. We have solutions for treating process waters to improve metal recovery in flotation. Sea water and high salinity groundwater can be effective resources with small changes in the processing plant that substantially reduce the pressure on high-quality freshwater resources. Other solutions, such as raw water treatment where cleaned municipal wastewater can be used as the raw water source for mines without compromising recovery, is also something we can offer to customers.

Process equipment from smelting to dewatering - case Keliber

Metso has decades of global experience in water treatment processes in industrial effluent, mining and municipal sectors, and has delivered more than 30 water treatment plants around the world.

In 2023, Keliber signed a contract with Metso for the delivery of an effluent treatment plant for their lithium hydroxide refinery to be built in Finland. The key equipment to be delivered for the plant consists of several Metso’s Planet Positive technologies, from Atmospheric Reactors enabling the precipitation of impurities and the recovery of lithium to an electrochemical water treatment unit for arsenic removal and efficient dewatering.

Process equipment from smelting to dewatering - case Keliber