BHP and Rio Tinto have joined together to invite expressions of interest from technology providers, equipment manufacturers, reagent suppliers, startups and research groups across the globe with innovative ideas and technologies to help improve tailings dewatering and management performance.
The global miners aim to jointly identify a portfolio of tailings management partners with whom they can work to accelerate the development of technologies that could increase water recovery and reduce potential safety risks and environmental footprints associated with tailings storage facilities, they say.
The search for new partners comes as the two companies have now entered into a new agreement to extend their collaboration beyond the previously announced trial of a large-volume tailings filter unit at a BHP copper mine in Chile.
BHP Head of Sustainability Innovation, Ingrid Oyarzun, said: “There are so many innovative thinkers out there and we want to bring them in as partners to help us improve in this critical area for safety and sustainability of our operations.”
Rio Tinto Chief Advisor Research and Development, Saskia Duyvesteyn, said: “We want to tap into the wealth of great ideas and innovations we 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 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