Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto Group has teamed up with OZ Minerals and Boliden to develop new methods for reusing mining tailings, including those from bauxite mining.
The program, which is entitled the Think & Act Differently (TAD) incubator initiative, will support those working on projects for reusing, reducing, or eliminating mining tailings. The initiative will also support initiatives aimed at projects for improving productivity while reducing waste or lowering emissions.
Michelle Ash, OZ Minerals’ Technology Executive said in a press release that the program has several advantages.
“We can accelerate technology much faster by working together and this is an example of how the industry can collaborate to support technology development. We hope this way of working and supporting innovators provides a model that can be replicated because accelerated technology development is likely to have a positive impact on our industry and society.”
Joanna Lindahl, Boliden Mines’ Sustainability Director, said that collaboration is key.
“By collaboration on generic challenges for the mining industry in a pre-competitive setting we will be able to make progress faster and more resource efficient. For the inventors and startup companies in the TAD incubator, it is also an excellent opportunity to get insights and business understanding from several different mining companies. We are very much looking forward for this collaboration and hope to find new opportunities to strengthen the industry in the future.”
“It isn’t very often that competitors come together to collaborate on industry-critical work,” observed Mark Davies, Chief Technical Officer for Rio Tinto. “One such area historically has been Health, Safety & Environment, where we learned that sharing leading practices boosts our collective performance. We think collaborating on tailings management capability improvement could have a similar, industry-wide impact. We’re excited to be partnering with Boliden and OZ Minerals through the TAD program.”