BHP and Rio Tinto to collaborate on tailings technology

BHP (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) have announced their intention to collaborate with technology providers, equipment manufacturers, reagent suppliers, start-ups, and research groups worldwide to improve tailings dewatering and management performance.

The mining giants are inviting expressions of interest from innovative thinkers who can help them identify a portfolio of tailings management partners to accelerate the development of technologies that could increase water recovery and reduce potential safety risks and environmental footprints associated with tailings storage facilities.

Tailings management is a critical area for safety and sustainability in mining operations, as tailings are the waste materials produced by mining activities.

Tailings contain a range of substances, including chemicals, metals, and minerals, which can pose safety risks and environmental challenges if not managed properly.

Tailings storage facilities, which are used to store tailings after they are dewatered, are also a significant source of dust emissions.

BHP and Rio Tinto’s search for new partners follows their previous collaboration on a large-volume tailings filter unit trial at a BHP copper mine in Chile.

The companies have now extended their collaboration and are looking for partners to help them develop new tailings technologies that can improve safety and sustainability across their operations.

BHP’s head of sustainability innovation Ingrid Oyarzun said that there are many innovative thinkers out there, and the company wants to bring them in as partners to help improve in this critical area for safety and sustainability.

Rio Tinto’s chief advisor research and development Saskia Duyvesteyn added that the company wants to tap into the wealth of great ideas and innovations that they know are out there and work together to find ways to improve safety and reduce the environmental footprint of tailings facilities.

Tailings management includes tailings dewatering and transport technologies, chemical amendment, and dust mitigation.

Ideas and technologies considered may be market-ready for mining, involve technologies previously applied in other industries, or may be original ideas at the earliest stages of research and development.

Interested parties are invited to obtain further information about the process and submit their expression of interest in becoming involved by visiting www.tailingsopencall.com.

BHP and Rio Tinto’s invitation to collaborate on new tailings technologies is an exciting opportunity for technology providers, equipment manufacturers, reagent suppliers, startups, and research groups worldwide to help improve safety and sustainability across the mining industry.

By identifying a portfolio of tailings management partners and accelerating the development of new technologies, the companies are working towards reducing the environmental footprint of tailings storage facilities and increasing water recovery while mitigating safety risks.