Mining Value from Waste: Building a pan-Canadian effort


Bryan Tisch, Natural Resources Canada; Janice Zinck, Natural Resources Canada

CanmetMINING is developing a pan-Canadian initiative called “Mining Value from Waste”, which aims to pull together the Canadian R&D community to produce a more cohesive and sustained effort to develop demonstrable reprocessing technologies and repurposing opportunities for mine wastes.  The Canadian Energy and Mines Ministers endorsed further development of this initiative in August 2018.  While the concept of tailings reprocessing is not new, the recovery of metal values from tailings is usually the primary incentive.  However, this approach is unlikely to be successful unless it includes a concomitant reduction in environmental liabilities and the development of downstream market opportunities for mine waste-derived products.  Innovation is a key requirement that must extend to the tools, technologies and policies, each of which are necessary to advance towards successful adoption.  Numerous projects are already underway in Canada by various stakeholders including industry, academia and government and the program continues to gain momentum.  An overview of the program goals and progress will be presented.
Keywords: Reprocessing, Repurposing, Byproducts, Tailings, Mine Waste