The use of tailing storage facilities often requires extensive plant equipment and large areas of land, as well as risk management plans should a tailing dam rupture leading to pollution of surrounding areas. There is a need to develop an alternative method for dewatering of mineral tailings whether for storage in a tailings dam or via dry stacking.  There is also a need for in-situ recovery of water from deposited tailings in water stressed areas.

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) have invented a method for dewatering mineral tailings using high frequency and low voltage pulsed power.

Key features

  • Methods and/or systems for dewatering mineral tailings that comprise a mineral component with water bound within
  • Subjecting mineral tailings to a pulsed electric field to liberate the water bound within or to the mineral component of the mineral tailings
  • Utilises high frequency and low voltage pulsed power to separate water from mineral tailings such as copper, coal, red mud and diamond slime.

 

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