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ArticleName An integrated interdisciplinary approach to substantiation of innovative technologies for extraction and processing of raremetal mineral reserves of the Kola mining sector
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2019.06.08
ArticleAuthor Gromov E. V., Bilin A. L., Mitrofanova G. V., Ostapenko S. P.

Murmansk Arctic State University, Apatity, Russia:

E. V. Gromov, Leading Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences,


Mining Institute, Kola Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russia:
A. L. Bilin, Leading Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences
G. V. Mitrofanova, Head of Laboratory, Candidate of Engineering Sciences
S. P. Ostapenko, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


Aimed at increase in mineral reserves and mineral resources, as well as at improvement of ecological safety and efficiency of operating and future mines, substantiation is provided for REE–REM mining and processes as well as waste management technologies which enable reduced stripping quantity, larger recovery of useful components and mitigated environmental load. Innovative technologies are based on the solution of interrelated geomechanical and technological problems on pitwall steepening, rock haulage in deeper pits, surface/underground mining transition, as well as on the quantum-chemical calculations and regularities of separation mass transfer in multiphase media in optimization of process flowsheets for mineral processing and wastewater treatment. The authors have established a concept of low-grade ore mining under environmental restrictions, including: hybrid method of mining; mine planning and design taking into account potential reuse of underground space and waste management; introduction of underground preconcentration of broken ore; internal storage of dehydrated waste; integrated extraction of useful components during processing; use of a closed water circulation system; transition from diesel to electric transport; monitoring of natural environment. In terms of a low-grade ore deposit containing rare-earth elements and located near natural areas of preferential protection, the authors have developed a low-waste geotechnology, including a new pitwall design with vertical benches and drainage utilities for mining in difficult hydrological conditions, and an underground mining technology with ore preconcentration and recycling of substandard ore mass in the mined-out space. The cost-effective use limits substantiated for new long-haul and in-mine ore transportation, and a technology of dehydrated laying of processing waste with internal and external dumping are also included into the geotechnology. The authors have developed the concept of flowsheeting for processing rare-metal raw materials based on information technologies of prototyping processes and devices, as well as substantiated the method of niobium and cerium extraction from wastewater of loparite ore processing and the methodology of environmentally sound conservation of stored loparite beneficiation waste by creating a biogeobarier.
The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, Projects No. 14–17–00761 and 14–17– 00761-P.
The authors appreciate participation of V. V. Biryukov, Researcher of the Institute of Mining, KSC RAS, in this study.

keywords Rare-earth and rare-metal minerals, mineral mining and processing and waste management, modeling, flowsheeting, waste water, purification, ore processing waste, conservation

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