Tailings deposits are found at any location where there is ongoing or legacy mining activity. These man-made deposits can present challenges for the owners, but can also hold interesting opportunities. Either way, sustainable re-handling and reprocessing of tailings is becoming a more prominent part of mining operations. 

Tailings management requires a careful approach and integrated solutions. All aspects relating to de-risking, re-handling, water management and reprocessing need to be considered in a sustainable way. The focus should be on safe, efficient and effective operations to unlock the potential of these mining legacies.

Our extensive knowledge of water, soft sediments and slurry transport allows us to develop innovative technologies for water management and the beneficial reuse of tailings to create a circular solution. We have both in-house solutions and partnerships in place to achieve cost-effective and sustainable solutions for tailings. 

Cost-effective wet tailings solutions

Tailings storage facilities (TSFs) that are (partly) submerged are inaccessible for conventional mining equipment. However, by using our dredge mining equipment, tailings re-handling is still feasible and can be safely executed.

As tailings consist of already processed and often fine-grained material, it is ideally suited for slurry transport, especially when the tailings are stored in a submerged environment. Tailings re-handling can benefit from dredging due to low OPEX and high production rates, which support the feasibility of tailings re-handling business cases.

Benefits of our solutions include: 
  • Slurry transport is the most cost-effective method of material transport
  • High unit capacity reduces number of required equipment
  • Less required operating units, so lower carbon footprint
  • Significant cost savings across the entire operation
  • Highest safety and degree of automation - AI guarantees safe dredging

Turning waste into a valuable resource

Legacy tailings are often considered as waste. However, reprocessing tailings can turn the perceived waste into a valuable resource. Our in-house mineral processing knowledge, combined with our strategic partnerships, can provide complete solutions for extracting valuable materials from mine tailings.

Key features of our solutions:
  • Extensive knowledge and experience of mineral processing
  • Range of project delivery and integrated processing solutions to extract the maximum value from tailings
  • In-house laboratory for metallurgical test work to determine the optimal plan and tools for tailings reprocessing
  • Specialist in separating minerals based on their specific weight
  • Comprehensive project management plans 
  • Always the most practical and low-cost solution

Equipment solutions for all demand

Tailings with a dry surface can be re-handled using conventional mining equipment, such as trucks and excavators. However, climate change and the need for environmentally responsible, cost-effective, high-production and efficient methods to transport material place great demands on the mining industry. In order to overcome these challenges, we have developed several slurrification options to transport tailings over short and long distances. 

Tailings Slurrification Unit (TSU)
TSUs are container-sized slurry transport systems that can be fed by a conventional excavator, and transport tailings over long distances with ease. 

Dry Mining Slurrification Unit (DMSU)
IHC Mining's DMSU provides a solution for high-capacity tailings re-handling operations that can compete with truck-and-shovel operations. 

OTTer-Pump and cutterhead
The IHC OTTer-Pump with cutterhead is the smallest unit in the slurrification product family. 

For more information, do read our innovation blogs:

Tailings from a mining project

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