In addition to SCM applications in the construction industry, Terra CO2’s OPUS technology also offers earth-friendly and economically-beneficial solutions for the mining industry. While they may appear unrelated, the core technology of producing binders from local materials and waste is similar in both concrete and mine tailings stabilization applications.
In 2018, we invented a low-CO2 process of stabilizing acid-generating (or potentially acid-generating) mine tailings by converting mine waste to OPUS cement reagents that are capable of physically and chemically stabilizing mine tailings.
Our OPUS technology can be instrumental to the mining industry in two key ways:
Leveraging OPUS technology to convert mine tailings into a SCM for use in cemented backfill, stabilizing mine tailings impoundments and structural cementing applications in active mines.
Leveraging OPUS technology during reclamation and remediation activities to convert unusable and potentially environmentally harmful mine tailings into usable and commercially viable SCMs.
A clear path to tailings management
Mine tailings are an extremely varied class of waste materials. Generally, conventional tailings facilities are an ongoing liability because they are both physically and chemically challenging to stabilize at low cost. These problems are increasingly under scrutiny in many jurisdictions. Permitting of new mines will be materially impacted by the mining industry’s ability to deliver new and more sustainable solutions to tailings management and a clear path to permanent remediation of tailing sites. OPUS technology offers a potential long-term solution to stabilizing mine tailings for reclamation and remediation activities.
- Reducing cost and waste in existing cemented backfill operations
- Physical and chemical stabilization of unstable tailings at existing and legacy sites
- Novel methods of acid rock drainage (ARD) mitigation and tailings stabilization for future mines at design stage
Terra continues to pursue economically interesting opportunities in the private and public sectors related to mine tailings stabilization.