21 April 2023
A new consortium of eight global mining companies has launched a multi-year initiative to develop and implement new technological applications for managing tailings.
The GeoStable Tailings Consortium (GSTC) comprises Antamina, Barrick, BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Gold Fields, Newmont, Teck and Vale, with external expert support provided by Dr. G. Ward Wilson of the University of Alberta.
Tailings are a waste product generated by mining and processing operations, consisting of finely ground rock in slurry form.
The GSTC will study options to combine various blends of tailings with waste rock to create ‘geo-stable’ landforms that are stronger and more stable than conventional tailings deposition methods and are likely to reduce process water consumption.
The GSTC will undertake a range of research and development activities, including laboratory testing, field trials, and data analysis, and will collaborate to promote best practices in tailings and waste management and foster a culture of continuous improvement across the mining industry.
The new GSTC initiative builds on the work of a group formed to advance geo-waste and eco-tailings research previously pursued by Goldcorp, which was acquired by Newmont in early 2019.