Lima, MAY 17 2022 PERUMIN Hub: mining companies interested in innovative technology to dewater tailings remotely

The mining industry produces a great quantity of tailings, but has limited space to store them, so it often resorts to dam enlargement projects or to other methods to optimize the management of this material. This a worldwide concern, and Peru is not the exception.

Aware of this complex reality, the Canadian company EKS has developed an innovative dewatering technique called EKS-DT Process. It uses two electrokinetic forces that, when combined, allow for maximum reduction of water content in tailings, thus improving their disposal.

“Via electroosmosis an electric current is applied, which drags the water towards the cathodes in the upper part of the dam, while via electrophoresis the suspended particles are dragged towards the anodes in the bottom part of the dam. This process results in the dewatering of mining tailings,” explained Ed Hanna, EKS’s vice-president of research and technological development.

According to him, this innovative technology contains no moving parts and requires no additives, using electric current as the sole input needed for the dewatering process. This makes it significantly less expensive, compared to other tailings treatment techniques.

With this technology, the average cost of dewatering is about $ 0.40 USD/m3 of released water, based on the field tests conducted in tailings treatment facilities in 2021. EKS is now moving towards the product commercialization stage in mining operations in Peru, Chile, and Brazil.

“This technology has been successfully implemented and operated continuously for two years, at a scale, under field conditions. We expect to sign a contract with two important international mining companies in late June. The implementation of these projects can happen before the end of the year,” argued Ed Hanna.

Remotely controlled tailings treatment

When using EKS technology, the mining tailings dewatering process can be done remotely from a control center, so there is no need at all for employees to go to the dam.

Thus, EKS-DT Process offers considerably low operating costs, greatly reduced handling of materials, quick drainage and immediate reuse of released water, significant reduction of tailings pond capacity, geotechnical stability of the installation, among other advantages that contribute to the compliance with the ESG commitments of the organization.

PERUMIN Hub, the showcase for modern mining

Ed Hanna commented that the EKS-DT Process solution was presented at PERUMIN Hub, the largest collaborative innovation platform in the Peruvian mining sector. There mining companies and innovative agents come together to exchange know-how and experiences in order to bolster the co-creation of new solutions to the huge challenges facing the industry in three key areas.

“PERUMIN Hub has played a vital role in the active promotion of our tailings dewatering technology before potential mining clients. The interest shown by many of them has enabled us to position ourselves as a serious alternative for the mining industry in Latin America,” said the specialist during his participation in the most recent edition of virtual Mining Thursday.

Newsletter PERUMIN 35

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