University of Oulu

Luukkanen, S., Tanhua, A., Zhang, Z., Mollehuara Canales, R., & Auranen, I. (2022). Towards waterless operations from mine to mill. Minerals Engineering, 187, 107793.

Towards waterless operations from mine to mill

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Author: Luukkanen, Saija1; Tanhua, Antti1; Zhang, Zongxian1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Oulu Mining School, PO Box 3000, FI-90014, Finland
2IMA Engineering, Sinikalliontie 3B, 02630 Espoo, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-26


To respond to the increased demand for commodities, increased volumes of primary ores need to be mined. This could lead to major challenges with water and tailings management since ore grades are low and many mining operations take place in high water stress areas. The current mineral processing methods used are highly water intensive and, consequently, there is increasing interest in finding alternative solutions to produce raw material concentrates using little or no water. Dry separation technologies capable of efficient recovery of commodities are relatively rare and highly dependent on the materials to be separated.

Low-grade complex ores require energy-efficient solutions for liberating material. Controlled optimisation of the rock fragmentation chain from blasting to comminution can be seen as a viable option to reduce the need for energy-intensive grinding. Application of pre-concentration methods to remove barren waste prior to grinding, developing cost-efficient and energy-efficient methods for comminution, use of mechanical or chemical pre-treatment methods for modifying the mineral surfaces and replacing water with solvents for leaching are all good tools when considering the change from wet to non-aqueous processing. Nevertheless, considerable multidisciplinary research, along with many new methods and holistic, innovative solutions are required to enable the change.

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Series: Minerals engineering
ISSN: 0892-6875
ISSN-E: 1872-9444
ISSN-L: 0892-6875
Volume: 187
Article number: 107793
DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2022.107793
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (