Metso Full portfolio Paste tailings plant
paste tailings plant

Thickened tailings and paste plant

Reclaim process water and store your tailings in an efficient way. The technology of the Metso Thickened Tailings and Paste Plant is a novel way to handle and store tailings from various processes like mine concentrators and other processes that produce tailings.

As a result, the plant reduces the footprint and environmental risks of your tailings storage facility. It also enables the efficient recovery of process water and saves energy by reducing slurry and water pumping.

  • Handles tailings more efficiently with a smaller footprint
  • Efficient handling of fine tailings
  • Minimizes environmental risks
  • Results in less seepage from the tailings area and minimal segregation
  • Saves energy with reduced slurry and water pumping
  • Simplifies mine closure for many applications 
paste tailings plant
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A conventional tailings pond is designed to store both the solid and the water from tailings. Here, the solids segregate and settle, and process water is stored and recovered.

A thickened tailings or paste disposal area is designed to store solids and a little excess water. Recovery of process water is carried out in the thickener before deposition. Due to the higher beach slope, the footprint of the area needed is half the size of a conventional tailings pond. High viscosity in tailings and less water in the pond results in lower embankments. Process water is directly recovered in the overflow from the thickener.

The paste-like material can be pumped to a disposal area for final disposal, or as an alternative, be mixed with a binder and used for backfill in the mine to stabilize the mined-out stopes (rooms). The direct recovery of water will come from the thickener operation and can in many cases be directly reused in concentrator plants. This in turn limits fresh water needs, which is a scarce resource and constraint in many geographical areas. As the tailing ponds with non-segregating paste material are quite stable and hold a low amount of free water, the risk of dam failure is significantly reduced.

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