Canadian Mining Journal


TAILINGS: Outotec creates three new products for sustainable tails and water management

Drawing of Outotec’s process water recycling plant.

FINLAND – Outotec has combined its expertise in the development of leading tailings and water treatment technologies to develop three new pre-engineered plant products, each one with Outotec’s proven and technologically advanced equipment at its heart. Bringing together services and solutions in this way helps to make the whole process from concept development to implementation as quick and efficient as possible, says the company.

Outotec Thickened Tailings Plant

The Outotec thickened tailings plant is designed for the management and storage of tailings from concentrators. Tailings thickening helps to reduce environmental risks and results in less seepage from the tailings storage facility (TSF). Using Outotec’s advanced control systems and thickener optimization technology, the thickened tailings plant offers stable process performance and consistent underflow density to ensure safe and cost efficient TSF operation.

It also enables the efficient recovery of process water, saves energy by reducing the need for slurry and water pumping, and simplifies mine closure for many applications.

In addition to thickeners, the delivery scope for the Outotec thickened tailings plant includes the feed system, overflow and underflow pumping and piping systems, gland water system, flocculent feed system, as well as instrumentation and control systems. The company also offer specialist commissioning, start-up, and training services.

What sets Outotec’s solution apart is that it is combined with proven advanced process control solution to maintain optimal performance even when there are variations in feed properties or other external factors impacting the process.

Outotec Dry Tailings Plant

Dry tailings disposal is a viable alternative for tailings management offering significant benefits in terms of environmental sustainability, process water recovery, and TSF footprint.

The Outotec dry tailings plant solution is a fully integrated design that comprises thickening, filtration, and dry material handling for the dry stacking of tailings, including all necessary ancillary equipment and systems. This solution is particularly suited to areas where water consumption is a sensitive issue, or where there are strict requirements in terms of the safe operation, management, and eventual closure and rehabilitation of the TSF. Dry stack facilities are also resistant to high levels of seismic activity.

Dry tailings storage is generally considered the safest and most environmentally sustainable technology for tailings management, and Outotec can provide a complete pre-engineered solution including plant and equipment delivery. The company’s service offering includes tailings management audits, studies, as well as maintenance and remote support services.

Outotec Process Water Recycling Plant

Mining operations are increasingly seeking ways to achieve closed water loops in order to reduce their consumption of fresh water and minimize effluent. The Outotec process water recycling plant is a fully automated standalone unit that enables recycling of process water by treating the water in a cost-efficient manner. The plant is specifically designed for concentrator plants, which dewater tailings and recycle the water back to the process. It enables undisturbed process performance by treating recycled water and removing accumulated substances to achieve the desired level of quality for the various duty points of the concentration process.

Because the plant is a modular solution, based on predesigned water treatment units, it is fully configurable for each individual process. The modular design also means that the whole process from design to implementation can be completed as quickly and smoothly as possible. Outotec also offers a full range of complementary services including process assessment, laboratory and pilot scale testing and analysis, technical studies, and remote monitoring and support.

Outotec is holding a series of webinars on tailings and water management in early 2018. The first, on Jan. 24, will introduce thickening, and this will be followed by sessions on tailings filtration and water treatment. Each webinar will cover the topic from equipment to plant, taking a holistic view of the issues that enable and constrain the technology. More information and details on how to register for the webinars is available at