Dewatering of Mine Tailings and Reducing Environmental Impact

Yüksek S. , Ercins M.

ISEM 2020 5th INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ENVIRONMENTS AND MORALS, İstanbul, Turkey, 24 - 25 September 2020, pp.21-29

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-29


Minerals are mostly subjected to ore processing or ore enrichment processes to make them usable and salable raw materials. Firstly, ore is minimized by crushing-grinding process, and after the use of water and chemical additives according to the characteristics of the mineral, beneficial mineral is taken, while unwanted minerals are stored in waste (tailings) pools. In a study, approximately 26 million tons of mineral waste are generated annually from the mineral processing facilities in Turkey. Construction of waste pools, stability of waste sludge and ensuring the safety of dams is a burdensome situation that miners face. In ore processes, an average of 3 tons of water is used to enrich 1 ton of ore, and most of the waste water cannot be removed with traditional methods and causes various economic and environmental problems. In this paper, the dewatering of an iron ore process waste by electro-osmosis method was investigated in a laboratory environment. Parameters such as amount of water removed, density, void ratio, water content and power spent in dewatering experiments were determined and the relationships between them were discussed in the graphics. Among these parameters, the water content of the waste material, which was 84,8% at the beginning, was reduced to 18,4% by the electro-osmosis method.

Key words: Dewatering, Electro-osmosis, ore, tailings, water content