How to optimize the disposal, use and reuse of tailings?

Due date November 30, 2021, days remaining 42

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

Tags environment & sustainability reuse and disposal tailings handling

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


Tailings constitute the main waste to be managed due to their extreme toxicity and large volumes, generating a highly negative impact perception when stored. They require a permanent risk assessment system.

As there are few proper spaces for tailings disposal in the environment and they represent a significant cost to be paid to the community, it is necessary to explore new efficient alternatives to improve their disposal or find other uses to turn them into useful products or, if they still have some economic value, continue working on them.

However, for this second approach it is difficult to find practical applications for tailings because the high water content turn their management very complex. Tailings can be used for mine closure (cover the hole), but it requires treatment with stabilizers to avoid leaching of metals.

Sound technologies and/or business models are needed for new alternatives to use tailings in other industries or activities.


Valued elements and/or expected results

Represent profitable business cases that allow economic value recovery.

The proposed use or reuse needs to be clear when detailing the advantages and disadvantages considering, among others, their chemical stability (contained metals immobilization).

Promote a change related to the unfavorable perception of tailings.

Optimize the relationship between storage needs and tailings dam to avoid expansions that will produce further impacts in the future as well as maximize the tailings disposal area.

Volume reduction to generate compactable tailings through efficient and safe water elimination.

Real-time risk analysis in relation to tailings management.

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