Mining equipment manufacturer Metso has sought to advance its tailings management solution by launching the bigger and stronger VPX filter.
“Over the years, we have supplied several VPA filters, which are medium-pressure filters. However, the need and demand for high-pressure filters have been increasing, and clients have consequently requested equipment that can also efficiently filter difficult materials, such as clay tailings,” says Metso filtration business manager and process equipment director Lars Gustavsson.
He states that the Metso VPX ﬁlter can handle difficult-to-dewater tailings, because it can operate with up to 25 bar, the highest pressure in its category. This enables up to 90% water recovery. The Metso VPX is also equipped with a fully electromechanical drive system and no hydraulics, making it the safest solution on the market. With its modular design, the Metso VPX filter is scalable as well as easily transportable to the site in standard containers.
The VPX system was Metso’s response to the global challenge of managing tailings efficiently, and the company also regards the dewatering of waste as the future of mining.
“There are many drivers, such as environmental regulations becoming stricter and water scarcity in many regions, that indicate that the dewatering of tailings is the future of mining. In operations where tailing dams are reaching full capacity, dewatering tailings is the socially responsible and economically viable solution to manage tailings properly,” informs Metso tailings management systems VP Rodrigo Gouveia.
He tells Mining Weekly that the VPX filter treats slurry materials, thereby increasing economic efficiency and social responsibility. “Tailings dewatering is technically and economically a viable option for today and the future. Dry stacking is widely acknowledged to be the safest, and most sustainable option for tailings storage.”
The full-scale testing Metso VPX10 was installed in the Metso facility in Brazil to test tailings and concentrate samples. Many tests are already scheduled with mining companies in Brazil and other countries in South America, however, some delay has occurred with sample collection owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. This being the case, the first test results are expected to be released between this month and August, states Gouveia.
“This has been very positive for Metso, as we have had the opportunity to test the performance of the VPX filter with different types of tailings, as well as allow our customer to know the equipment in operation. The promotion of the VPX filter has also expanded globally, with Metso being in discussion with mining companies in India, Australia, Russia and Africa,” he concludes.