Mine Tailings Stabilization

In 2018, we invented a low-CO2 process of stabilizing acid-generating (or potentially acid-generating) mine tailings by converting mine waste to geopolymer cement reagents that are capable of stabilizing mine waste.

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. 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 manage mine tailing waste with a clear path to permanent remediation of tailing sites.

Terra continues to pursue opportunities in the private and public sectors related to mine tailings stabilization.

We have developed advances in on-site geopolymer stabilization:

  • 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 is also exploring opportunities to repurpose mine tailings sources as a feedstock to commercially produce specification SCM’s, BCM’s, and ACM’s (versus reclamation on site).

Although our mining and concrete applications may appear diverse, the core technology of producing binders from local materials and waste is similar in both concrete and mine tailings stabilization applications.

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