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Tailings as Industrial Raw Material (5 replies)

2 months ago
spaceexplorer 2 months ago

Industrial Applications of Tailings

Does anyone have any idea or know in which industries that discharged tailings could serve as economic raw material?

Besides gold which is our primary target, our tailings are fairly rich in Ag, Cu, Fe and Pb; but not necessarily economically viable to undertake their specific extractions via flotation or otherwise.

Subsequent to the recovery of the target  gold content, via gravity concentration, we shall be left with more than 500K tons of discarded tailings.

Are there other industries in which these tailings could serve as raw material? The manufacturing of hardened/decorative blocks for construction and refractory bricks have been mentioned.

Any thoughts that can be shared on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

2 months ago
David 2 months ago
1 like by HUSIN

The only operation I know of that's capable to "sell" its tailing to industrial use is Nyrstar near Knoxville, TN. Their cycloned tails is shipped off as agricultural lime. It contains very little metal and is limestone based with a natural pH of around 8-9.

Otherwise, tailing are what they are, tailings. Uneconomic waste.

max skinner
2 months ago
max skinner 2 months ago

David is correct, the tailings you describe with, Cu, Pb etc. could not be used for much. I assume that the Pb, Cu are sulfides, if so whatever you do with them the sulfides will, over time, oxidize causing trouble. Of course depending on where you are, Pb in anything even tailings can be a real problem just try it here in California where I am.



2 months ago
jpearcy 2 months ago

If the Fe content is high (pyrite), could think of concentrating and roasting to produce sulfuric acid. I've heard this has been thought as a possibility.

2 months ago
spanner 2 months ago

Global Aquatica in Australia have a process that converts the tailings into environmentally safe, recyclable products which it sells. To use this process, the tailings must contain sulphur in some form.

In most cases all of the tailings are eradicated, with no stored waste products on site after completion. Cyanide in the tailings is not a problem.

I hope this helps.


1 month ago
Barstoolminer 1 month ago

Hi Spaceexplorer,

You say your tailings are fairly rich. What is the percentages ? It may pay you to extract these completely using a very economical environmentally safe process , depending on availability of other raw materials.

There is a high frequency magnetic process used to extract all metals out of Clay.

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