Monday, 20 July 2020

Three US universities launch Tailings Center of Excellence

Some good news from USA, that the University of Arizona, Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Mines have launched the Tailings Center of Excellence, a learning space focused on educating engineers on responsible and sustainable mine waste management and advancing research-backed best practices. Among other tasks, the projects involve providing mine operators with real-time insight regarding water quality, seepage and mechanical stability of tailings storage facilities, something which has been sadly lacking in recent times.
Last year's tailings dam breach at Córrego do Feijão  iron ore mine, Brazil
In parallel, the Tailings Center of Excellence will coordinate closely with the Tailings and Waste Engineering Center, a newly established consortium of faculty from Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Colorado State University.
And AMIRA Global in Australia will be evaluating the safety of tailings storage facilities (TSF)  as part of an upcoming project to assess TSF monitoring systems. The Evaluation of Tailings Storage Facilities Monitoring Technologies will begin this month with eleven sponsors on board.  The research will be completed by a team at The University of Western Australia.


  1. I am extremely happy that an important(many times considered a problem and irritating) aspect of all mineral engineering operations is getting its due and focused attention-in many forums in India I used to say that "tailings and metallurgical wastes" need a different attention and specialisation.
    U,S. showing the way is really commendable.
    For me "disposal of tailing and metallurgical wastes" should not be the main focus.OUR ATTENTION has to be more towards utilisation of everything that come out from mine to metal--the word waste should slowly be redundant.
    People used to think fly ash from power stations a big problem. Now it is in great demand in cement industry.
    There may be so many rare elements in tailings and we have to recover.
    This initiative opens an entirely new challenge to future "earth sciences and related technologies".

  2. Jyotirmaya Sahoo20 July 2020 at 16:37

    Great steps taken! Getting an alternate solution for reuse of mines tailing waste is the need of the hour. Research needs to be Focused on converting the tailing into by-product. That is the only sustainable growth for the industry.

  3. Gilbert Ghansah20 July 2020 at 21:18

    This is a step in the right direction. I believe more research needs to be done for safely management of TSF in the mining sector.
    I am a Metallurgist in a WWTP and I believe that the way forward to prevent what happened in Brazil is researching into how the processing plant can actually separate the water from the tails before sending to the dam and not the other way round.
    I think the use of process like hydraulic pressing the tails too would be a good project to try.

  4. Important step taken. Proper tailings management is often neglected. Apart from proper building and maintenance of TSF, the use of waste to produce something valuable must be also explored.


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