Page 87 - Hub 4 Magazine issue 53
P. 87

On a trip to Brazil in August to make the case for iron ore tailings management and beneficiation with CDE clients, I witnessed how the Samarco disaster has reshaped the environmental legislation in Brazil, now focused on active prevention coupled with remediation. The Samarco iron ore mine is a case in point when it comes to lessons learned from a disaster that was widely covered by the media in 2015. As the company took stock of the consequences of the dam’s failure on the socio-economic and environmental make-up of the region, this initiated comprehensive solution-led research with a view to ensure this could never happen again.
The Renova Foundation, created following the Samarco disaster to make sense of the tragedy and provide a practical solution to human, environmental and industrial challenges, sets the tone of action: knowledge-based restoration, reconstruction, production, all three strands being addressed in synergy to allow for a comprehensive solution to be achieved. In the context of the Brazilian government’s renewed focus on fighting waste pollution and turning every ounce of earth’s resources into valuable materials, it is timely for CDE to contribute to the edifice of change by developing bespoke modular tailings management and beneficiation solutions that actively contribute to restoring faith in the benefits of mining operations on the local economy and
turning mining waste into revenue or materials for use in environmental rehabilitation.
In doing this, CDE seeks to repeat the success of its projects with Vallourec in Brazil. Ahead of the curve for tailings recovery and remediation in the region, Brazilian mining operator Vallourec and CDE have developed and successfully run a CDE dewatering system which has rehabilitated a tailings dam, helping to change the mindset towards tailings management by utilising recovered solids in ground remediation and road brick manufacture.
The proof is in the process: six EvoWashTM washing units dewater 30,000 tonnes per month of materials which are stockpiled as a dry product. Two banks of cyclones remove 30% of the mass
(15,000 tonnes per month) to a filter press. The resulting cakes are used in soil composition and road brick manufacture. Strikingly, this bespoke modular wet processing solution allows for 45,000 tonnes of material to be diverted from Vallourec’s tailings dam on a monthly basis.
On the strength of this significant achievement in Brazil – the process being replicated with adequate materials and needs- based variations across the world – CDE is working on becoming a positive actor in the clean-up effort emanating from the Samarco legacy. As the business continues to develop ever more efficient means to manage tailings whilst adding value to mining operations, modular tailings recovery systems are set to become the next priority for companies under pressure to meet both their business and environmental targets.
CDE’s ‘New World of Resource’ ethos runs through every strand of the business, embedding a commitment to reduce waste as well as remediate and turn it into value. Not only does CDE’s patented technologies allow for clean and energy- saving materials wet processing operations, but the company’s innovative approach to waste management also opens up a new world of possibilities that involve the transformation of waste into high value construction products whilst ultimately eliminating the need for settling ponds and tailings dams.
CDE has the solution. Let’s talk. Nov 2018 - Issue 53
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