Australia-based mining tailings and waste management technology provider Phibion, has announced that it has welcomed an investment by RCF Innovation Fund II-A LP (RCF Jolimont II) to accelerate global expansion. The investment by RCF Jolimont II will enable Phibion to expand its manufacturing facilities and global operations to meet the growing demand for its world leading mineral tailings dewatering technology, from an increasingly ESG aware mining industry.
The increased production of key metals and minerals is expected to drive strong growth in the mining waste management market in the coming years with the overall market forecast set to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2017 to 2022, reaching 233.56 billion tons. The tailings segment of this market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Phibion operates in this growing market, as well as providing remediation of existing tailings storage dams.
“Responsible management of mineral tailings is at the core of concerns around sustainable environmental management, impacts on society and the governance of mining operations. The recent catastrophic failures of tailings dams in Brazil have highlighted both the difficulty of the issue and the risks of conventional approaches. Phibion has developed and commercialised the Accelerated Mechanical Consolidation (AMC) technology with its purpose-built dewatering tool called the MudMaster®, a twin Archimedes Screw Vehicle. Phibion designs, manufactures, supplies and operates MudMaster machines which are used for in-situ dewatering and consolidation of mine tailings, improving the environmental performance of mining operations and reducing costs.”
AMC reduces the volume of tailings requiring storage and allows the recovered water to be recycled reducing overall demand on water resources. Importantly, this is possible without the need for capital expenditure or significant changes to operational management. Phibion states: “Accelerated Mechanical Consolidation (AMC) technology can provide levels of dewatering performance approaching what can be achieved by filtration but at a fraction of the cost, a fraction of the energy intensity and a fraction of the complexity. In addition, this high performance AMC operations require no capital expenditure and with no changes to the existing facility.”
David Smirk, Founder of Phibion has welcomed investment from RCF Jolimont II which provides additional funding and expertise at a critical time in the company’s growth. “Phibion has expanded operations into four countries and in multiple commodities. With strong demand for improved tailings management technology across the world the company is poised for further rapid expansion. With the RCF Jolimont II capital contribution and execution expertise, Phibion is well placed to meet rapidly escalating global demand,” said Smirk.
RCF Jolimont Director Lyle Bruce added: “This award-winning technology is a unique and innovative departure from conventional thinking around management of mine tailings. RCF Jolimont seeks to support innovative businesses that are transforming mining, particularly around safety, productivity and environmental performance. We are excited by the opportunity to be part of Phibion and to help build a great business that improves the environmental performance of the mining industry.”
With the backing of RCF Jolimont II, Phibion says it will increase its manufacturing capability, increase research and development, and expand deployment of the technology creating new employment opportunities across the group. RCF Jolimont’s Lyle Bruce and Andrew Jessett are joining the board of Phibion.