International news within the industry of mining and metal, Apr, 24 2019
Latest News

New methods developed for the management of extraction waste

Several companies are dealing with mining waste. Global EcoProcess Services EPSE), is a privately owned Finnish company established in 2012 and specializing in the treatment of industrial hazardous waste and mining waste waters. The product of EPSE is a patented new technology for the treatment of waste containing soluble metals, which are the major environmental risk in mining and industrial waste treatment industries.  Foto: ESPE
Several companies are dealing with mining waste. Global EcoProcess Services EPSE), is a privately owned Finnish company established in 2012 and specializing in the treatment of industrial hazardous waste and mining waste waters. The product of EPSE is a patented new technology for the treatment of waste containing soluble metals, which are the major environmental risk in mining and industrial waste treatment industries. Foto: ESPE
Published by
Markku Björkman - 05 Feb 2019

The Finnish Geological Research Center (GTK) has completed a three-year-long project that developed methods for the management of extraction waste, methods for research into extraction waste and environmental practice. With the tools developed, it is possible to reduce the amount of extractive waste, especially harmful waste, and to simulate the environmental consequences of the extraction waste.

Management of extraction waste is one of the biggest challenges in a sustainable mining operation. Every year, large amounts of extraction waste occur and they can cause long-term harmful environmental impacts. Waste management is particularly demanding in metal ore mines where the waste contains environmentally harmful minerals and metals.

It is often possible to extract only a small part of the rock that is broken. The majority is stored as mineral waste on the side tips of the mining area. Storage of extractive waste requires expensive constructions. In addition, some of the material stored on side tippers can be recovered at a land plant in the mining area or as a raw material in any other industry.

An increasing proportion of the waste is recycled

In the project KaiHaMe, tools were developed to reduce the amount of hazardous waste and thereby increase the raw material value of stone materials that are mined, reduce the environmental consequences of the side tips for extraction waste and promote sustainable mining activities. The tools were a model for optimizing extraction waste, a reduction of the waste's harmfulness through various enrichment methods and various methods for research into the long-term behaviour of the waste. Extraction of waste from gold and base metal mines was a special subject for research.

Based on the model for optimizing extraction waste that was developed in the project, the quality of waste can be processed and optimized as part of the enrichment tests immediately after the operation has started. The model enables an increasingly comprehensive raw material analysis, whereby it is possible to separate from a waste a larger amount of waste suitable for recycling or waste which is more inert to the properties. A test of how the model works has been done by designing gold-copper ore in Kopsa.

The enrichment tests focused on reducing the amount of harmful arsenic and sulphide minerals in the waste without risking access to gold and copper. Based on the results, by adjusting the enrichment process it was possible to process the waste properties so that most of the waste that was formed was better in terms of the environmental efficiency of the waste and the amount of harmful waste could be reduced. The adjustment of the environmental effects of the waste was found to have positive effects also on the quality of the process water.

Assessments of the extraction waste's environmental impact and of preventing such consequences through simulation

In order to promote the assessment of the extraction waste's long-term behaviour, the project investigated how different laboratory methods that predict long-term behaviour worked. In addition, the suitability of field lysimeters for research into long-term behaviour was tested. In addition, a reactive migration modelling was used to predict the quality of water from waste piles and to simulate how different blocking solutions, such as cover structures, affected the water quality in the long term.

The results showed that mineralogical analyzes and lysimetric tests in addition to conventional test methods provide valuable additional information that can be used to predict the long-term behaviour of the extraction waste. In addition, the modelling can simulate what environmental consequences waste piles stored in mining areas are waiting for and in what way the consequences can be prevented.

The project has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Geological Research Center, Boliden Kevitsa Mining Ltd, FQM Altona Mining, Kemira Oyj and Endomines Oy.

GTK includes the new tools in its service offering. The most important results of the project have been gathered for the final report on the project.

The property lies in the famous Cobalt province and is approximately 47 km south of the town of Cobalt. The picture shows an old mine in the town of Cobalt. In the early 1900s, the area was heavily mined for silver; the silver ore also contained cobalt. By 1910, the community was the fourth highest producer of silver in the world. Mining declined significantly by the 1930s, together with the local population. In late 2017 one publication referred to Cobalt as a ghost town, but the high demand for cobalt, used in making batteries for mobile devices and electric vehicles, is leading to great interest in the area among mining companies. Photo: Wikipedia, credit: P199
The property lies in the famous Cobalt province and is approximately 47 km south of the town of Cobalt. The picture shows an old mine in the town of Cobalt. In the early 1900s, the area was heavily mined for silver; the silver ore also contained cobalt. By 1910, the community was the fourth highest producer of silver in the world. Mining declined significantly by the 1930s, together with the local population. In late 2017 one publication referred to Cobalt as a ghost town, but the high demand for cobalt, used in making batteries for mobile devices and electric vehicles, is leading to great interest in the area among mining companies. Photo: Wikipedia, credit: P199

Quantum Cobalt Completes First Pass Exploration Near Temagami, Ontario

Sotkamo Silver consists of the parent company, Sotkamo Silver AB, with one wholly-owned subsidiary in Finland: Sotkamo Silver Oy. Sotkamo Silver develops silver, gold and zinc deposits in the Nordic region. The Company has completed the Definitive Feasibility Study for the Silver Mine project and is working on project financing issues. Photo: Sotkamo Silver
Sotkamo Silver consists of the parent company, Sotkamo Silver AB, with one wholly-owned subsidiary in Finland: Sotkamo Silver Oy. Sotkamo Silver develops silver, gold and zinc deposits in the Nordic region. The Company has completed the Definitive Feasibility Study for the Silver Mine project and is working on project financing issues. Photo: Sotkamo Silver

New silver mine opened in Finland

"150 trucks pro year"

The production of the first silver mine in Finland has started in Sotkamo. the mine of the Sotkamo...

The joint initiative called HYBRIT of SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall – here with their three representatives at the fair, from right, Martin Pei technology manager at SSAB, Jan Moström CEO of LKAB and Martin Lindqvist, CEO of SSAB. HYBRIT is now on exhibit as an exciting sustainability collaboration at one of the worlds largest industrial trade fairs in Hanover. The CEOs of the three companies are in Germany to show the rest of Europe that it is possible to produce fossil free steel. Photo: SSAB
The joint initiative called HYBRIT of SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall – here with their three representatives at the fair, from right, Martin Pei technology manager at SSAB, Jan Moström CEO of LKAB and Martin Lindqvist, CEO of SSAB. HYBRIT is now on exhibit as an exciting sustainability collaboration at one of the worlds largest industrial trade fairs in Hanover. The CEOs of the three companies are in Germany to show the rest of Europe that it is possible to produce fossil free steel. Photo: SSAB

The Swedish steel industry exposes at the Hanover Fair

"revolutionary steel industry changeover"

- The Swedish initiative for fossil-free steel production, HYBRIT, participates this week at the...