Van AalstViganTBA GroupBühler GmbHTelestackPort of South Louisiana
  • Geneva Dry
  • TMS Awards 2023
  • Sailors Society
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Telestack
  • Bühler GmbH

BHP and Rio Tinto to collaborate on new tailings technology

BHP and Rio Tinto to collaborate on new tailings technology

(Posted on 02/11/22)

Global miners BHP and Rio Tinto have formed a partnership agreement to accelerate the development of technology that could significantly increase water recovery from mine tailings, and in turn reduce potential safety risks and environmental footprints associated with tailings storage facilities.

The first project will involve testing the application of an innovative large-volume filter unit at a BHP copper mine in Chile, which would remove up to 80% of the water in the tailings stream before it is deposited in a storage facility.

Rio Tinto will bring its experience from implementing smaller-scale tailings filters for bauxite residues at alumina refineries since 2005. Both organisations will work in collaboration with leading technology and equipment providers, technical experts, research groups and the academic sector.

Manufacture of the filter unit is already underway. The pilot construction is due to begin in early 2023 and operations are scheduled to commence in early 2024. The pilot will test the potential of a large-scale tailings filter unit for scalability and cost-effectiveness across global mining operations.

Removing more water from tailings would reduce potential risks associated with moisture in storage facilities, reduce the footprint required by such facilities, and create opportunities to productively re-use tailings, for example, as raw material for glass, construction or agriculture industries.

The additional water recovered from tailings by filtration could be re-used in processing facilities, reducing overall water consumption.

BHP Chief Technical Officer, Laura Tyler, said: “The world will need more critical minerals in the decades to come to support economic development and decarbonisation pathways. It is important that we keep working together across the global mining sector to raise standards and make sure our operations are as safe and sustainable as they can be. Responsible management of tailings and improved water use is a big part of that.”

Rio Tinto Chief Technical Officer, Mark Davies, said: “It is in everyone’s interest that we, as an industry, find safer and more sustainable ways to manage tailings. As two of the leading companies in the sector, we want to bring our combined knowledge and expertise to address this challenge.”

Tailings usually takes the form of a liquid slurry made of fine metal or mineral particles and water – created when mined ore is crushed and finely ground in a milling process to enable the metals and minerals of interest to be extracted.

Latest News

Australia’s biggest renewables deal to repower Gladstone aluminium operations

(Posted on 22/02/24)

Rio Tinto has signed Australia’s largest renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) to date to supply... Read more


BHP half year results released

(Posted on 22/02/24)

Mike Henry, Chief Executive Officer, reviewed the Company's operating and financial performance:&ldquo... Read more


Titan Lithium to set up AED 5 Billion processing plant in KEZAD

(Posted on 14/02/24)

Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi – KEZAD Group, the largest operator of integrated and purpose... Read more


Australia’s iron ore leaders partner for steel decarbonisation

(Posted on 11/02/24)

Australia’s two largest iron ore producers and its biggest steelmaker have partnered in their... Read more


Lithium market to face transition as demand growth slows

(Posted on 02/02/24)

The lithium market is experiencing a period of transition as demand growth slows and the industry adjusts... Read more


Top US construction economist anticipates weak first half of 2024

(Posted on 31/01/24)

The top economist for the cement, concrete, and construction industries anticipates the U.S. economy... Read more


ADM to expand traceable soybean pilot after U.S. to Europe deliveries

(Posted on 25/01/24)

ADM, a global leader in sustainably sourced solutions from nature, has announced that it has loaded... Read more


MMW and HAG merge

(Posted on 18/01/24)

Mineralmahlwerk (MMW) Hamm, one of the largest processors of mineral raw materials in Europe, and Handels... Read more


Dampier Salt agrees to sale of Lake Macleod operation to Leichhardt

(Posted on 18/01/24)

Dampier Salt Limited (Dampier Salt) has entered into a sales agreement for the Lake MacLeod salt and... Read more


Long-term outlook strong despite decline in US Aluminium demand

(Posted on 12/01/24)

The Aluminum Association in the USA has released preliminary estimates showing demand for the aluminium... Read more


Sailors SocietyTMS Awards 2023Geneva DryCimbriaPort of Stockton
  • Port of Stockton
  • Van Aalst
  • TBA Group
  • Vigan

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping