Tailings are the waste product from mining operation that consist of mined rock and process effluents. At the time that the tailings are disposed of, there is very little, if any financial gain to the operator at that particular point in time to increase the recovery of the mineral.
Historical operations typically mined higher grade ores as well as lower metallurgical recoveries compared to today’s operations. This has presented a unique opportunities in select circumstances for these historical tailings to be reprocessed and the remaining minerals to be economically extracted. We review other tailings re-treatment projects globally to determine what makes them work.