In this workshop the 4 speakers will discuss a number of important aspects relating to the management and potential value of reprocessing mine tailings and the associated opportunities and challenges. Tailings deposits are found everywhere in the world that has ongoing or legacy mining activity. These man-made deposits present both a challenge and can represent an interesting economic value source, if the still interesting constituents of such tailings resources can be economically and effectively recovered. The value of such deposits has only recently become increasingly of interest, and is based on the realisation that many tailings facilities hold mineral grades comparable with competing virgin deposits and/or minerals, particularly in cases where virgin ore quality is deteriorating.

In the first presentation Mikhail Leskov will explain about the presence, challenges and potential of  tailings deposits in Russia and CIS countries.

Besides their latent economic value, tailings deposits also pose significant risks, such as possible dam breaches or failures, groundwater and surrounding ecosystem contamination as well as post-closure costs and balance sheet liabilities. Effective tailings management is required in order to mitigate these risks and still enable profitable project development. This requires integrated solutions and Henk van Muijen will detail on this.

Gerry Southwood will give the third presentation of this master class on mineral conditioning for improved filtration and separation in mining processes and tailings management. Due to the evolution of processing equipment and refining techniques, as well as in some cases deteriorating grade quality, tailings are becoming finer in size and can contain greater levels of silts and clays. Filtration and separation technologies need to be adapted or complemented to enable their effective separation, dewatering and deposition in wet, paste and filtered tailings scenarios. This also applies to tailings rehandling, whether as part of a recovery process or a risk reduction program, where dry stacking may be a desired outcome.

The last presentation in this round will be given by Derk Hartman. He will explain the importance of best practice in project management in the Russian mining context with some specific focus on tailings management projects.

At the end of the master-class, the speakers will invite the participants to take part in the discussion of the reports presented and to discuss specific practical cases which might be proposed by the participants of the discussion.

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