Vale has confirmed a Reuters news report from last week stating that it would spend an additional BRL11 billion ($2.5 billion) on dry iron ore processing over the next five years.
The company said it has invested nearly BRL66 billion installing and expanding the use of dry processing, using natural moisture, in iron ore production in its operations in Brazil over the last 10 years and it would carry on this trend.
“By not using water in the process, no tailings are generated and, therefore, there is no need for dams,” the company said, added that about 60% of Vale’s production today is dry, and the goal is to reach 70% in the next five years.
Dry processing is used in the mines of Carajás, Serra Leste and the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex (pictured), in Pará, Brazil, and in several plants in Minas Gerais. In Pará, in the Northern System, about 80%, of the almost 200 Mt produced in 2018 was through dry processing. The main Carajás plant, Plant 1, is in the process of conversion to natural moisture: of the 17 plant processing lines, 11 are already dry and the remaining six wet lines will be converted by 2022.
Serra Leste’s treatment plants, in Curionópolis, and S11D, in Canaã dos Carajás, also do not use water in ore treatment, according to Vale. In S11D, for example, the use dry processing, using natural humidity, reduces water consumption by 93% when compared to conventional iron ore production.
For the rest of this posting: https://im-mining.com/2019/05/13/vale-exploring-dry-stacking-magnetic-separation-eradicate-tailings-dams/