Reuters has reported on June 21 that Brazilian miner Vale SA is set to spend US$400 million this year to decommission 12 of its 30 tailings dams. In 4 years since the programme's inception, the company has spent US$857 million of the US$4 billion it has projected to spend by 2035, in its aim to completely shut down operations and eradicate any future disasters.
Tailings are residual materials produced from various procedures during the metal extraction of various ores. Usually, milling — the process of separating waste rock from metal before metal extraction — and metal recovery processes result in a huge volume of residual slurry. This semi-liquid mixture may contain heavy metals alongside many other toxic materials at concentrations higher than environmental standards. The toxic materials such as reagents and heavy metals may leak and pose serious threats to the environment.
As such, tailings disposal is a critical issue in environmental conservation, especially in the case of low-grade ores that produce a considerable volume of tailing materials.
Can gold mining companies stop the archaic practice of using cyanide in its processing? Is there a better and more effective way to manage tailings — one that can bring about revolutionary change?
Clean Mining, a part of Clean Earth Technologies, has the answer to wipe out harmful tailings through anon-toxic, non-flammable and water-soluble gold recovery reagent. This eco-friendly process, when used in conjunction with a dewatering system, produces dry waste, in turn eliminates the need for volatile and high risk tailings dams. Compared to traditional methods of gold extraction, Clean Mining’s safe and environmentally-responsible solution is the answer to eliminate the high cost of maintaining the tailings dams.
As long as toxic tailings exist, the safety of the environment and local communities will be put in jeopardy. Gold mining companies must eliminate toxic tailings by switching to Clean Mining’s gold recovery reagent. That is the only way the industry can make amends for inflicting prolonged harm on the environment.