Profitable usage of Tailings generated at SKM mine

Theme: Wealth out of Waste

Expected Pilot Duration: 6 Months

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Challenge Summary

Sindesar Khurd Mine (SKM) tailings are disposed into tailing ponds. Seeking solution for profitable recovery of metals from the mine tailings, which are rich in minerals and reduce the tailings by 50,000 Tons.

Challenge Scenario

Ore from SK mine is treated in a mill, of which about ~90% waste i.e tailings is generated. Presently the tailings are dumped in tailing ponds (~45%) or utilized in paste fill (~55%), thus the metal content in tailings is getting lost and causing an environmental liability. There is an opportunity to recover precious metals & rare earth elements along with base metals from tailings. An innovative solution is required to recover metals from SKM tailings. The tailing Dam is live, thus metal recovery from Fresh tailings will be targeted instead of legacy tailings.

Typical assay of tailings- Zn <0.2%, Pb <0.1%, Ag-20ppm, Fe-14%, Al-2.8%, Mn- 2.2%, Mg-3.8%

Other elements:

Profile of the end users

Mill Operations

Responsible for plant operations & minimizing target metal (Zn, Pb & Ag) content in tailings

Civil Team

Responsible for tailing pond management

Environment Team

Complying with environmental liability

Industrial Relations Team

Land acquisition for pond height raising

Solution Requirements

Identifying opportunity for minor metal & REE's from SK tailings

Develop technology for extraction of MM & REE's from SK tailings.

Reduce tailing generation by extracting valuable content

Provide techno-economical solution for tailing treatment

Minor metal & REE's content to be analyzed in detail

Technology development for extraction

Avoid use of hazardous reagents

Zero liquid waste generation

Preferably Zero solid waste process or the waste generated should be compatible for disposal in current tailing dams

Trainings as per unit operation involved

Expected Outcomes

1. Quantified Metrics & Outcomes:
Operational KPIs/Metrics Current Value Expected Target Value
Reduction in Tailing waste generation ~5.5 million Ton per annum ~5.45 million ton per annum
Reutilization of tailing Nil 50KT per annum
2. Qualified Outcomes:
Current State Target State (Expected)
Increase in environmental liability Towards Zero waste generation
MM & REE's based products- Nil Developing MM & REE capabilities at HZL
3.  ESG Impact:
ESG Metrics Expected Value/State
Environment - Non hazardous waste disposal 50KT per annum

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