Innovative Technology for the Treatment of Tailings Storage Facilities

Noting a significant challenge in responding to environmental regulations for Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF’s) in relation to their dust management, Erizon® continues to develop a range of solutions and services to assist in treating and rehabilitating these areas.

Environmental regulations have become increasingly stringent over the past 5 years, leading companies responsible for tailings storage facilities to look for more cost-effective and guaranteed solutions to meet the rising environmental and community standards while simultaneously reducing onsite water use.

Erizon® has been at the forefront of these enquiries, with tailored and innovative approaches to dust suppression for fine particle dust from dry waste onsite. As an industry leader in large-scale mining and civil environmental solutions, our team have the experience, knowledge, and technical expertise to effectively manage dust with an active longevity guarantee of up to 24 months.

Operations Manager of Erizon®, Tom Corkhill, said “We hear too many stories of companies not taking ownership when their product or application fails. We wanted to address this with our approach. We partner closely with our clients to develop new and improved application methods and solutions so that we can provide a guarantee on all works provided.”

Providing both long- and short-term solutions, Erizon® can help major mines and power plants meet all environmental obligations for dust control, mitigate community concerns and reduce the risk associated.

Erizon’s® superior dust suppression and erosion control product, SuppressX®, is specifically engineered for non-trafficked areas, such as tailings and ash dams. The ultra-low concentration makes it the ideal performance product for mining industries. SuppressX® has a unique emulsion of microscopic, cross-linked, superabsorbent polymers that create the basis of the solution and allow it to outperform competitors, providing immediate results. The water-soluble polymers permeate into the substrate below, forming an interconnected, strong, durable, and flexible crust that binds to the fine particles and granules to eliminate dust.

HydroBond® is a specialist blend of polymers and proprietary additives that mix with water to act as a binder and tackifier for all applications. When dust is the immediate concern, but longer-term revegetation is the goal, HydroBond® is the perfect solution. HydroBond® binds to the surface, locking-in dust while allowing air and water to penetrate the soil below, performing as a porous barrier that not only retains moisture but also regulates temperature consistency to enhance the germination of seedlings. HydroBond® can also be used in conjunction with our EnviroLoc® Hydromulching BFM for guaranteed results in extreme conditions.

FibreLoc® is our latest innovative, heavy-duty dust suppression solution. Designed for the harshest, extreme conditions where polymer solutions aren’t suitable and sustainable longevity is required, FibreLoc® succeeds where others fail. With unique, intersecting natural wood fibres and sustainable binders, FibreLoc® creates a flexible blanket that is ideal for terrain prone to movement. Dependent on extreme weather conditions, FibreLoc® can provide functional longevity of up to 24 months.

Conveniently in a liquid form, all Erizon® solutions are diluted with water (tailored to each site and requirements) and sprayed directly onto the exposed surface. Non-toxic and environmentally friendly, the solution can have a coloured dye added to the mix to allow for increased visibility, ensuring an even and uniform application is achieved every time.

On any site, there are several applications methods that can be considered – hose, spray bar, cannon, and aerial. Clients have the option to use existing water carts to disperse our solution for ongoing maintenance, or our highly qualified spray technicians will utilise our customised HydroRigs, fitted with mine-spec modifications for best results. Using specialist equipment allows Erizon® to reduce project time and cost and accelerate the reduction of dust onsite. Aerial options with Erizon® include fixed-wing planes, helicopters, and drone application, which are suited to tailings storage facilities where vehicle access is limited. However, Erizon® has also invested significantly into new low bearing capacity (LBC) innovations with a PSI of <1 to provide options for any site across Australia.

Tom says, “We are entering an exciting time with our equipment innovation development at Erizon®. We are exploring new technologies and innovations to apply our solutions in better, safer, and more cost-effective ways that haven’t been explored previously in our industry. We can now offer our partners multiple application methods that allow us to access any terrain without sacrificing safety. There are always better and more innovative ways to do things; something we continuously embrace at Erizon®.”

With drone capabilities increasing rapidly, Erizon® has implemented them in numerous ways onsite, improving efficiency and safety. Aerial surveying and monitoring have always been part of the package with Erizon®, using a combination of multispectral and thermal imaging, photogrammetry, and LiDAR surveying to create a comprehensive 3D map of any site, and determine vegetation health or areas of concern. Lately, with the ability to cover varied and uneven terrain, drones are quickly becoming the ultimate precision spraying tool. With unmatched efficiency and cost-effectiveness, drone application of dust suppression is extremely suited for remote sites with steep or rugged terrain, limited vehicle access, and where safety concerns are paramount.

To ensure Erizon® meets its promise of ‘Supply, Apply, Guarantee’, Envizo was created as a performance monitoring system that collects data 24/7 to allow the Erizon® team and its clients to have remote access to a full range of performance indicators. With alerts set up to advise if any unexpected or major weather events occur, Envizo can determine when high levels of dust are in the air, and even specify the size of the dust particles.

Trusted by some of Australia’s largest mines, Erizon® can tailor a solution for any site or requirements.