FLSmidth and Goldcorp win mining award for co-developing solution to improve tailings management and increase water recovery
FLSmidth and Goldcorp are the joint winners of the Mining Magazine Editor's Award 2017 for developing EcoTailsTM, a new mining system that improves tailings and waste rock disposal while recovering as much as 95% of the tailings water
FLSmidth and Goldcorp, one of the world's largest gold mining companies, have been named joint winners of Mining Magazine's annual Editor's Award 2017 for their co-development of the new EcoTailsTM mining system.
EcoTails combines two major footprint consumers in mining operations; the tailings facility and the waste rock facility. By dewatering tailings via fast filtering technology and recycling the water back into the process, the system dramatically improves tailings and waste rock disposal, while allowing water recovery of up to as much as 95%. By combining dewatered tailings with waste rock, the EcoTails system creates a stackable GeowasteTM product with less impact on the environment than waste rock or tailings individually.
By using materials conveyance as the energy source for the mixing, Goldcorp and FLSmidth are testing a low energy, low cost co-mingling solution with the waste blended in transit using specially-designed material handling technologies. This along with advances in fast filtration technology to lower operating costs will make the solution financially competitive with traditional tailings disposal methods for large mines where water resources are scarce.
A pre-feasibility study for the EcoTails system is currently being conducted with the intention of having a demonstration plant in operation at one of Goldcorp's mine sites. Once the system completes testing, it will be offered commercially by FLSmidth.
"The award for the EcoTails system is a result of our strong collaboration with Goldcorp. Together, we have developed a solution that significantly reduces the environmental impact of tailings in the mining industry. We are proud to have partnered with Goldcorp in developing such an innovative solution for the benefit of our customers, the environment and the local communities involved," says Manfred Schaffer, Group Executive Vice President of the FLSmidth Minerals Division.
The Mining Magazine awards are held annually to celebrate outstanding new technologies, innovations and initiatives within the mining sector.