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Kola MMC JSC: on the way to new technologies
ArticleName Utilization of concentration plant tailings at Kola MMC
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.11.07
ArticleAuthor Suvorova O. V., Makarov D. V., Masloboev V. A., Kurbatov E. A.

I. V. Tananaev Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Rare Elements and Mineral Raw Materials of the Kola Science Centre of RAS, Apatity, Russia:

O. V. Suvorova, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:


Institute of the Industrial Ecology Problems of the North of the Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russia:
D. V. Makarov, Director, Doctor of Technical Sciences
V. A. Masloboev, Principal Researcher, Leader of Research, Doctor of Technical Sciences


Kola MMC JSC, Monchegorsk, Russia:
E. A. Kurbatov, Head of Environmental Safety Center


Concentration tailings of non-ferrous metal ores are currently regarded as a source of anthropogenic mineral resources. Research that looks at using such mineral resources in the processing cycle focuses on the development of new processes based on a combination of concentration and hydrometallurgical techniques. In most cases, for the tailings treatment process to be profitable it is advisable to use the silicate fraction for producing commercial products. The key consumer of such products may include producers of construction materials. The cost effectiveness of using recycled waste to produce construction materials will be associated with the prevention of environmental damage due to reduced demand for primary minerals. Another promising area for utilizing concentration tailings includes the production of materials for environmental applications (i. e. sorbents, engineered geochemical barriers, ameliorants). This paper considers the possibility of using the Kola MMC tailings of the copper-nickel ores to produce construction materials and adsorption geochemical barriers. Ceramic and hyper-molding materials are characterized with enhanced physical and mechanical properties, high frost resistance and improved aesthetics. The results of a study that looked at the adsorption geochemical barrier made from tailings that were thermally activated at 700 oC indicate that such barrier can be used for waste water treatment resulting in the production of saleable non-ferrous metal concentrate. Long-duration dynamic experiments were conducted with solutions containing 0.2 g/l Ni and 0.1 g/l Cu. Over the 500 days of the experiment, the amount of nickel deposited on the geochemical barrier increased by up to 16.8 times, that of copper — by up to 47 times, as compared to the initial tailings concentrations. The resulting metal concentrations would be acceptable to justify further processing of the product using hydrometallurgical technology.

keywords Tailings, ceramic construction materials, hypermolding materials, strength, frost resistance, artificial geochemical barriers, waste water treatment

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