Mining Solutions

Rheomax® ETD
Tailings Management

Enhanced Tailings Disposal is a method of Tailing Management in which novel technology is used to change and control the structural and drainage properties of mineral processing residues.

A266WB Rio Tinto Coppermine Huelva Andalucia Spain

Tailings thickeners generate high-density underflows with high yield stress, which are often pumped long distances to a final tailings impoundment area. The tailings are then deposited, dried and eventually rehabilitated.

The Rheomax® ETD process is able to rigidify tailings at the point of disposal by initiating instantaneous water release from the treated slurry. This accelerates the drying time of the tailings, results in a smaller tailings footprint and allows the released water to be returned to the process faster.

This treatment has been found to be effective in improving tailings properties from a wide cross-section of industries, including Alumina, Nickel, Gold, Iron Ore, Mineral Sands, Oil Sands and Copper, amongst others.

Rheomax® ETD rheology modifiers offer the end-user a number of opportunities to enhance the operation of their tailings management process. The application of Rheomax® ETD products offers the opportunity for a more effective co-disposal process generating homogenized, stable, non-segregating and faster-drying tailings which may be rehabilitated far earlier and more easily. Rheomax® ETD rheology modifiers may also result in the faster release of cleaner liquor streams, minimizing losses through evaporation. 

The sustainability benefits of ETD are:

Reduced fresh water requirement

Solid particles bind together to form a porous matrix structure allowing rapid reclamation of process water for reuse.

Reduced land footprint

Drying time of the tailings is accelerated, resulting in a smaller land footprint.

Quicker rehabilitation time

The surface of the dried tailings is trafficable faster and rehabilitation can be started much earlier.

Dust suppression

Dry surface with a significantly reduced amount of sodium carbonate dust being received. The environmental hazard from sodium carbonate becoming airborne can be diminished by 5-6 times with the application of Rheomax® ETD.

Cost savings

The cost savings with Rheomax® ETD are versatile and primarily associated with improved water recovery and quicker rehabilitation time.