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Water recovery has become a critical issue for brown field and green field projects in the last couple of years, especially when mining takes place in hot and dry or mountainous areas. Where process water and energy costs are key components, dry stacking and mine back filling should be carefully compared to tailing dams in order to determine which technologies give clear high water recovery in the most cost effective way with the added benefit of reducing the risk of dam failures.
High water recovery technologies should be considered where the process is conducted with sea water, where the cost of water is high, where space is limited, where tailing dams are restricted by law, or where the production capacity is limited by water availability.
Pre-feasibility studies show that high water recovery technologies make it possible to decrease power consumption, reduce maintenance costs, and decrease the use of flocculants. It also means that a high level of process water recovery is possible. Consequently, the flow sheets for bulk material dewatering all over the world should be reviewed to increase plant efficiency by means of bigger and more efficient equipment.
Outotec develops, designs, and manufactures industrial filters and is a leading technology company in its field. Companies in mining and metallurgy, chemical processing, and related industries benefit from our high-performance, high-efficiency process solutions, technologies, and products. Our focus in technology development is to achieve an optimum water recovery while at the same time satisfying the growing demand for handling huge tonnages. Hence, this paper shows new ways of treating tailings using bigger and more cost effective technologies.
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