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We're looking at ways to repurpose our tailings

01 JULY 2019

The initiative helps reduce our waste and environmental footprint

We’re looking at ways to repurpose our tailings and reduce our waste and environmental footprint.

At our Wessels manganese mine in South Africa, engineers have found other uses for non-toxic ‘slimes’ – a waste product made up of manganese ore which is typically stored in tailings facilities. 

After being dried and tested, the slimes have been made into a low-cost medium-grade manganese ore product – named ‘Wessels Concentrate’ – and sold to local and international markets.

Engineers are now looking at ways to dry the material as quickly as possible, something which could eventually remove the need for tailings storage altogether.

A similar initiative has also been implemented at our GEMCO operation where non-toxic waste ‘sands’, created as a by-product of the ore refinement process, are sold.

New technology has allowed us to process the material on a large scale and we are now exporting approximately 660 kilotonnes of the Premium Concentrate Ore product a year, something which has resulted in an estimated 25 per cent reduction in sands tailings.