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Tailings Processing

After the mineral processing of the ore, the valuable components are enriched into concentrates, while the remaining substances are referred to as tailings.

To effectively utilize and recover these tailings, concentrators employ a tailings recovery process. This involves reprocessing the various ore tailings. Zoneding Machine specializes in designing tailings processing plants and equipment that are tailored to the specific properties of mineral tailings. They ensure that the tailings are processed in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner, maximizing the extraction of valuable minerals and minimizing waste.

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Tailings Processing Methods

The main methods for processing mine tailings at this stage are tailings consolidation discharge, dry stacking tailings, and tailings reprocessing.

1.Tailings Consolidation Discharge:
This method involves concentrating and discharging the water-bearing tailings directly into a tailings pond. The remaining water in the tailings can be recycled or treated for discharge. However, this method has drawbacks such as limited recycling of useful components, land use, vegetation destruction, and potential pollution.

2.Dry Stacking Tailings:
Dry stacking is a newer process that involves dewatering the tailings to reduce their water content to less than 15%. This method utilizes high-efficiency dewatering equipment like dewatering screens. It helps save costs, prevent environmental pollution, and allows for the recycling of overflow and filtrate water.

Tailings Dewatering Process:

Dry dischargeMoisture content
 Thickener + hydrocyclones + belt filter15%~18%
Thickener + ceramic filter <10%
 Thickener + box filter press or vertical filter press 15%~25%
 Cyclone + thickener + multifrequency screen <10%

  1. Thickener + Cyclone + Belt Filter:
    This combination is suitable for medium and coarse-grained tailings. It provides continuous production but has high power consumption, cost, and investment.
  2. Thickener + Ceramic Filter:
    This process is suitable for medium-fine-grained tailings but may face difficulties in dewatering coarse-grained particles. It enables continuous production and produces low water content products. However, it requires high equipment investment and may experience blockages in the ceramic plates.
  3. Thickener + Box Filter Press or Vertical Filter Press:
    This process is suitable for medium and fine-grained materials, including those with small particle sizes. It may still work well even with a significant percentage of particles at -0.037 mm. However, the filter cloth and pump flow parts need regular replacement. Vertical filter presses are expensive but are effective for concentrate dehydration.
  4. Cyclone + Thickener + Multi-frequency Screen:
    This combination is a newer approach that can dewater various mineral materials. It works well for particles within 80% of -325 mesh size. This solution has a low investment and operating cost, with half the cost of other methods like ceramic filters, belt filters, and chamber filter presses. It has minimal wearing parts, and the high-frequency fine screen has a long lifespan. For very fine-grained materials, a combination of thickener, multi-frequency sieve, and filter press can be used for tailings dewatering.

3. Tailings Reprocessing

Tailings accumulation is a common issue that leads to environmental pollution and geological hazards. Gold tailings processing has emerged as a solution to recover valuable elements from tailings, enhancing resource utilization efficiency and boosting economic benefits for companies. Tailings dewatering plays a crucial role in this process, as it involves customizing an appropriate dewatering method based on the specific properties of the tailings slurry. Consequently, the gold tailings recovery process has become a significant trend in the industry.

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