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Innovative, eco-conscious disposal

Tailings lake of a copper mine

The management and disposal of tailings is an important challenge for the mining industry as it can cause potential environmental problems. Together with our sister company Multotec, we are able to design and implement complete tailings management systems.

What is meant by “tailings”?

“Tailings” is a term used in the mining industry to refer to the slurry containing fine particles that is left over after the extraction of minerals or ores. When ore is mined, it is usually crushed and the valuable components, such as metals or minerals, are extracted. The unusable or worthless components are called tailings.

Tailings consist of a mixture of fine rock, slurry, water, and chemical residues that exist in a wide range of pH values. The management and disposal of tailings is a major challenge for the mining industry as it can cause potential environmental problems. Mining companies around the world are working to develop technologies and processes to minimize the impact of tailings and implement safer and more sustainable practices.

Together with our sister company Multotec, we are able to design and implement complete tailings processing plants.

Gold mine "The big pit" in Australia.
Bird's eye view: Lake Tailings.

The problem of tailings dams

In most cases, tailings are stored in large ponds due to cost or lack of suitable processes. Over the past few decades, there have been repeated incidents of creeping leaks of contaminated fluids with subsequent damage or extreme accidents resulting in hundreds of deaths due to the collapse of dam structures and subsequent flooding by mudslides.

In addition to the human tragedies, the resulting damage to ecosystems is sometimes irreversible, as mining sites, including tailings ponds, are often located in areas that are particularly sensitive.

Requirements for tailings management

In 2004, the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) included the information sheet “Management of Mining Waste and Tailings” in its series of BAT (Best Available Technologies) information sheets. The European “Seville Process” has enshrined the BAT reference documents as legally binding in the various EU directives.

Globally, there are now binding government guidelines for the disposal of ore tailings on all continents, which have been consolidated by the UN and industry in an International Standard for Tailings Management for 2020.

The extremely large material flows with very fine and highly abrasive particles can be concentrated in suitable processing plants so that the tailings can be safely stored and the valuable water recovered.

Minerals and mining. Different colored rock layers
Opencast lignite mining
Crushing, breaking, grinding - crushed stone in beige to dark brown
Mineralien & Bergbau - Eisenerz

Centrifuges for processing tailings

For decades SIEBTECHNIK TEMA has been offering decanter centrifuges with diameters of more than 1000 mm, which separate the corresponding quantities of solids highly efficiently over long periods of time.

Founded in 1922 in Europe’s largest mining region, the Ruhr area, SIEBTECHNIK TEMA centrifuges and especially SIEBTECHNIK TEMA decanter centrifuges are today leaders in wear protection and ease of maintenance.

Together with our sister company Multotec we are able to design and implement complete tailings processing plants.

Example: Typical process for ore processing

Typischer Prozess für Eisenerz - Beispiel Flowsheet unserer Schwesterfirma Multotec

Simplified illustration: Tailings Processing

Prozessbild: Aufbereitung von Tailings. Zentrifugen in der Feingutaufbereitung

Efficient solid-liquid separation in tailings processing

Overview of our solutions and services

The complex requirements for solid-liquid separation in tailings processing usually have to be verified by detailed tests. For the application of decanter centrifuges, our customers have at their disposal professionally equipped mobile and transportable sludge dewatering plants in 40’ containers with a SIEBTECHNIK TEMA decanter centrifuge.

Our process engineers are supported in the test phase by our international laboratories and in the subsequent operation of the plants worldwide by international engineering teams and service technicians available on almost all continents.

SIEBTECHNIK TEMA centrifuges can be equipped with comprehensive monitoring systems such as STFlO Oil Quality Monitoring and our Centrifuge Remote Advanced Monitoring (STReAM). Our service supports you not only on-site but also remotely.

Our global manufacturing and sales network ensures the supply of spare parts as well as comprehensive service and maintenance. Benefit from our more than 100 years of experience in the mining industry.

Decanter The modern alternative to filter presses in tailings processing

The use of SIEBTECHNIK TEMA decanters as a replacement for filter presses in tailings processing offers numerous advantages. From higher efficiency and water recovery to lower operating costs and minimized environmental impact, opting for decanters offers a modern and responsible solution for sustainable and efficient tailings treatment
The use of decanters can lead to significant cost savings. Faster processing and optimized water recovery reduce energy and water consumption, thereby lowering operating costs. In addition, there is no need for expensive filter cloths, which have to be changed regularly with filter presses.

SIEBTECHNIK TEMA decanter centrifuge DZ 7. View from the drive side of the decanter.
Decanter DZ in a plant for boric acid processes
Interior view of the TURBOSCREEN screen decanter, view of the centrifuge screw

Wear Protection

SIEBTECHNIK TEMA centrifuges are specially optimized for the respective separation task. When selecting materials, austenitic and ferritic stainless steels have proven themselves in centrifuge construction for applications subject to normal stresses.

For processes in which abrasive materials are processed, the centrifuges must be provided with effective wear protection. Starting with hard coal processing, we have been continuously developing wear protection systems since 1922.

Our centrifuges can be equipped with highly developed wear protection systems made of e.g. tungsten carbide, Stellite® or ceramic tiles, to name but a few. Rubber coatings or matrix coatings have also proven themselves in various applications.

If required, our engineers develop new and efficient solutions in coating, bonding and joining technology for our customers worldwide.

Centrifuge Components Materials

Centrifuge components must not only withstand high forces, but also process-related stresses such as corrosion, wear and high temperatures. Cost and availability of materials also play an important role. Our customers select the necessary product-contacting materials according to these very specific requirements.

Duplex and high-alloy stainless steels, Hastelloy® and titanium materials for a wide variety of processes and stresses are part of our daily business in centrifuge construction. Our quality management has developed very detailed and cost effective processes for design, manufacturing processes and component testing based on European guidelines.

Typical sheet metal and forging materials for centrifuge wetted components include

  • EN 1.4404 / AISI 316L
  • EN 1.4571 / AISI 316Ti
  • EN 1.4462 / AISI 318LN / Duplex
  • EN 1.4410 / AISI F53 / Super Duplex
  • Lean Duplex
  • EN 1.4539 / AISI 904L
  • EN 1.4547 / 254SMO®
  • EN 1.4529 / AISI 926
  • EN 2.4819 / INCONEL® Alloy C-276
  • EN 2.4602 / Hastelloy® C22
  • EN 2.4610 / Hastelloy® C4
  • EN 3.7035 / Ti-II / Titan 994-Ti-grade 2
  • EN 3.7235 / Ti-IIPd / Titan 994 Pd-Ti-grade 7
  • and their casting materials
SIEBTECHNIK TEMA decanter centrifuge DZ 7. View from the drive side of the decanter.

Decanter centrifuge – solid bowl

Our decanters are individual, functional and versatile. They offer highly efficient separation of even the finest solids with almost complete clarification of the liquid phase.

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Ölzustandsüberwachung Headerbild - gelbes Getriebeöl

Fluid Observer

We have developed an oil quality monitoring system specially tailored to our centrifuges. Reduce downtimes and extend your machine running time with the SIEBTECHNIK TEMA Fluid Observer!

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STReAM Zentrifugen - SIEBTECHNIK TEMA Remote Advanced Monitoring mit optionaler Cloud-Anbindung.

STReAM Centrifuges

SIEBTECHNIK TEMA Remote Advanced Monitoring
Your digital module for preventive centrifuge maintenance - with optional cloud connection

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Dark world map with white text "One Solution. Worldwide." There are highlighted connections between many places in the world, everything is globally connected


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