Historically, mining processes with poor recovery rates have resulted in tailings with significant amounts of recoverable material. The extraction of this material can be achieved using dredges.
There are several factors that justify the extraction and re-processing of tailings:
– Tailings require fewer resources when compared to conventional mining. For example, a dredge can – in a single step – extract and transport the material to a processing plant located even kilometers away. This reduces costs related to capital equipment, labor, fuel and maintenance;
– Advances in re-processing technology;
– Processing of tailing allows for additional production without increasing a mine’s footprint and without requiring additional land permits.