How to reduce tailings and treat waters in tailings and collars with effluents?

Due date November 30, 2021, days remaining 42

Status Open, Technology Readiness Level 4 Lab testing, looking for Prototyping

Tags environment & sustainability wastewater treatment tailings management

Posted by Hub de InnovaciĆ³n Minera del Peru on July 05, 2021 in , Peru.


Mining is an activity that requires controlling the generation of effluents and mine waters from mining-metallurgical activities to post-closure in order to avoid negative impact on the environment.

The progress of mining works causes the affectation of water fractures, generating flows, in several cases abundant, for which treatment is required before their discharge into the environment.

The appearance of uncontrolled filtrations can affect water courses and bodies. Underground work requires to assemble and implement systems that avoid the generation of effluents such as filtration wells with hydrogeological models to recirculate underground water.

These mine waters have a high content of dissolved metals so their use is limited and recirculation low.

In tailings deposits, filtration and generation of acidic waters must also be controlled and the exposure of reactive materials must be reduced, which requires to apply treated covers.

Solutions are needed for mining to be Zero Effluents.


Valued elements and/or expected results

Significant decrease in final discharge volumes, reducing the quantity and improving the quality of the water to be treated, for the mine and the community (the water quality must meet the specific natural characteristics of the area where it operates), and reusing the water flow treated with established recirculation standards.

Involvement of the communities in knowing the risks related to water and tailings of the operations.

Prioritize passive treatments, which are expected to be cost-efficient, eliminating treatment in perpetuity. It is expected to reduce the percentage of filtration in deposits, leach pads (PADs) and tailings.

Solutions that facilitate (i) proper location, considering the impact on underground water and surface water; (ii) adequate instrumentation (geotechnics, levels of water mirrors, recirculation rates, among others); and, (iii) a methodology and structure to define the appropriate closure in order to reduce water treatment or at least its cost.

Value generating coverages for the communities, and the respective transfer of technology.

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