Weir Minerals invests in future of tailings

Image: Weir Minerals

Weir Minerals has extended its scope of service to the entire tailings process, from dewatering, transport and disposal to the conversion of tailings into a resource.

The company is making its transition from being traditionally involved in the pumping of tailings to being a provider of an end-to-end tailings and pipeline solution.

Weir Minerals is now involved in the production of tailings material, as opposed to simply transporting it.

This seamless approach is a departure from the traditional industry practice of sourcing components from multiple suppliers, which can be challenging to integrate.

In light of water conservation, operational sustainability and safe deposition of tailings, Weir Minerals is investing in this area to help solve crucial issues within the mining sector.

“Our holistic solutions-based approach to tailings management … adds value to customer operation beyond pumping,” Weir Minerals Africa process manager Hoosen Essack said.

Weir Minerals’ extensive research and development capabilities allow it to provide a wide spectrum of tailings management options, not limited by a particular type of technology or equipment.

The company ascertains operators’ objectives and recommends a complete, optimal solution to meet their needs, including dewatering equipment, piping, pumps, valves and instrumentation.

Another key benefit to the mining sector is the ability to transform tailings into products, which can safely be used by the mine, such as road construction material. This involves dewatering of tailings, in which Weir Minerals has extensive expertise.

“Weir Minerals can provide a variety of processing systems including equipment and infrastructure to achieve the final tailings product that is required by the customer, from thickening to create a paste or applying a filter to produce a product which can be dry deposited,” Essack said.

“As tailings management evolves, the industry is moving towards the latter for increased safety and stability, and in the process maximising water recovery.”

New processing technology is continually being developed, including at the Weir Technical Centre tailings research facility in Australia.

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