Gary Cochrane | Ecotech
Theme: Tailings repurposing that efficiently results in a step change in existing tailings volumes
Project title: Repurposing arsenopyrite and refractory tailings to remove value metals and neutralizes or removes toxic metals.
Offering to sponsors:
- Efficient recovery of value metals to offset costs of repurposing;
- Environment benefits from neutralizing or removing toxic metals;
- Environmental benefits from reducing tailings volumes by repurposing;
- Energy efficient with exothermic reactions from the sulphur in tailings;
- Potential to economically extend to polymetallic and refractory prime ore treatment to increase value metal recovery and eliminate flotation and ultra fine grinding.
The project addresses treatment and repurposing of refractory and arsenopyrite tailings. The technology extracts value metals and neutralizes the toxic tailings material. Once inert, the tailings can be used for other purposes, such as road construction or agriculture.
The technology has been used for more than 10 years and has been tested on more than 20 ores, tailings, and slags. The process is ideally suited to treating refractory and arsenopyrite ores and tailings with the benefit of also recovering some secondary metals. The project team has a benchtop and pilot plant in Gosford.
The company is now in the feasibility design stage for at least a 25,000-tonne p/a demonstration plant, expected to be built in 2022. The company now has one polymetallic slag to treat but also investigating at least two other polymetallic or arsenopyrite gold tailings opportunities.
Benefit to industry:
- Applicable to a range of refractory and arsenopyrite ores, tailings and slags
- Efficient recovery of remaining value metals in tailings
- Environmental neutralization or removal of toxic metals in tailings
- Environmental benefit from repurposing tailings to reduce tailing volumes.
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