Outotec is one of the few
companies in the world that can offer paste thickening solutions to the
mineral industries in one package. Paste technology means that instead
of pumping untreated tailings from the concentrator into tailing ponds,
the sand is dewatered to a point when it does not segregate as deposit.
Outotec’s expertise regarding paste
technology springs from the company’s long experience of minerals and
metals processing technology.
"Paste technology is now widely
acknowledged and at the moment Outotec has ongoing paste projects all
over the world”, says Anders Nyström, Technology Sales Manager of Paste
and Backfill Solutions at Outotec. "Using paste technology the tailings
form a conical pile and do not need big ponds to be stored in. This
means that the disposal area is much smaller compared to conventional
tailing ponds and the danger of leakage is minimal”, he explains.
Nyström got in touch with paste technology when he was leading a
project aiming at minimizing the area needed for tailings disposal at a
mine in Canada in 2002.
"The mine was not allowed to extend the
tailing ponds but could use the existing tailing pond by placing the
paste tailings on top of the existing tailings. This was possible only
by using paste technology.
Especially for dry areas
Nyström says that the mining industry faces growing challenges globally
on how to use water efficiently, how to recover and recirculate water
and how to reduce the areas needed for tailings storage.
why the market for new sustainable solutions for tailings treatment is
growing” he says. "Since the water from the tailings is efficiently
recovered using paste technology, the water can be used over and over
again. This makes the technology attractive especially in dry regions.”
He also points out that paste technology makes it much easier to restore the landscape in a safe way after a mine is closed.
are now investigating the possibility with adding fertilizers and seed
to the tailings through the paste plant some time before the mine will
be closed down. This way the restoration process needs very little extra
work. By using this method the closure process can be started in good
time, saving time and money and in an environmental way improving the
Stabilizing mined out areas
the recent acquisition of the Australian company Backfill Specialists,
Outotec can now offer even more comprehensive tailings treatment
solutions to mining industry worldwide.
"Paste backfill is mainly
used to stabilize underground excavations, says Mathew Revell, a
leading international expert regarding backfill solutions and head of
Outotec’s Paste and Backfill Solutions business. "It means that a mix of
paste and cement is pumped into previously mined stopes to form a rock
The paste backfill supports for example the walls of adjacent adits as mining progresses.
way the mine can be utilized to a maximum since it makes it possible to
mine all of the ore deposit,” Mathew Revell explains. "The paste
backfill can also serve as a working platform in a mine. In short, by
using paste backfill the mines can be utilized more efficiently and
above all, safely.”
Since the cost of the binding material is
essential for the competitiveness of paste backfilling, Outotec’s
expertise in optimizing the consistence of the paste can be crucial.
mix variables must always be optimized to provide a backfill material
that exactly meets the demands of the individual project", Mathew Revell
says. "With this knowledge accessible it is possible for us to develop
more efficient and more cost effective backfilling solutions than ever
Paste technology is a modern way to handle and store tailings from mine operations in an environmentally sound way.
In addition to surface paste disposal the paste can also be mixed with binders and used to stabilize mines.
Outotec in brief:
provides leading technologies and services for the sustainable use of
Earth’s natural resources. As the global leader in minerals and metals
processing technology, Outotec has developed over decades many
breakthrough technologies. The company also provides innovative
solutions for industrial water treatment, the utilization of alternative
energy sources and the chemical industry. With a global network of
sales and service centers, research facilities and nearly 3,900 experts,
Outotec generated annual sales of EUR 1.4 billion in 2011. Outotec
shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
For more information, please contact:
Tel.: +61 419 237 668
Paste technology is a modern way to handle and store tailings from mine operations in an environmentally sound way. © Outotec
In addition to surface paste disposal the paste can also be mixed with binders and used to stabilize mines.© Outotec