New Technologies for Mine Waste in Latin America

Gustavo Bravo

Mine Waste Division Leader for Latin America

Our Gustavo Bravo, Mine Waste Division Leader Latin America, was recently interviewed by the Global Business Report journal for their Peru Mining Report 2018. Contributing to the Water and Environment section, Gustavo discusses reducing the Peruvian mining industry’s carbon footprint and its impacts, and the importance of water to Peru’s mining industry.

The following is an excerpt from the Global Business Review journal.

What would you say are the main trends in the treatment of mine waste?

Filtered tailings have been a good solution for smaller or medium sized operations. For the large copper mines, the adoption of this technology is a matter of the energy cost and the substantial cost of finding extra land on which to install these facilities. I believe that in the future, filtered tailings will be the way to go to help solve the issue of mining waste in larger operations, but industry-wide there is still not a great deal of experience in processing and filtering large volumes. I think that, as far as the technology goes, it is a natural process to evolve to the point in which it is a more adequate and viable solution for large volumes.

What are the solutions to make the most of space limitations and improve the footprint of the mines?

It is a matter of bringing in new technologies and performing the necessary trade-off studies. Solutions such as using an old pit facility to receive tailings or waste, and using dry stacking, filtering and a mixture of conveying and trucking are all being implemented. The footprint of the operation is critical. As consultants, one of the first discussions we have with our clients is what the potential footprint could be, as well as what is the possibility to expand land rights outside the current boundaries. Social and environmental considerations are fundamental to the mining industry. Whenever a new technical solution is being considered, it has to be evaluated hand in hand with socio-economic and environmental aspects. From that perspective, Golder brings a broader perspective to the problem.

Moving forward, where does Golder see the biggest demand coming from over the next couple of years?

Golder is already seeing the trend of existing operations trying to develop more brownfields rather than greenfield projects. Companies want to take care of their available capex and try to expand current operations by developing new facilities within their property, investing in new technologies, using recycled water as much as possible, reducing the waste, and maximizing the minerals they can extract from waste.

Click here to read the full report from Global Business Review Journal. (PDF download)

Gustavo Bravo

Mine Waste Division Leader for Latin America

About the Author

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