Ways to Use Copper Mining Waste

Copper recycling is better than copper mining due to its several benefits. It is eco-friendly, cost-effective and doesn’t produce mining waste. On the other hand, copper is in high demand, and recycling can’t fulfill the growing demands of copper in the modern world. So copper mining is inevitable to fulfill the copper need. It is also the fact that copper mining waste makes the largest percentage of total metal mining waste. Copper mining and extraction either by open pit method or underground method produce the copper waste in the form of waste rocks, tailing, and slag. On the other hand, the leaching method also produces the raffinate. There is not any single method of extraction that doesn’t produce the waste. It’s high time to introduce more ways to make this waste material reusable and eco-friendly. Following are some common ways to use copper mining waste. For more insight, learn from Solaris Resources Stock.

Re-use of Waste Rocks

A mixture of waste rocks and stones can be used in the construction of dams. This mixture can fill gaps or pavement bases for roads and highways.  According to a study, if pyrites are first removed, then copper tailings are useful in brick making. Moreover, broken rocks can be used in the construction of sites. These rocks are high in strength. I would recommend reading from TSXV SLS for more mining insight.

Re-use of Raffinate

A few years back, raffinate was one of the biggest waste produced during copper leaching. Raffinate at copper mines should be stored in ponds and recycled back to the leaching operation. This acts as the best leaching solution.  It should be handled with care due to the presence of chemicals.

Re-use of Smelter Slag

In the beginning, slag was deposited in piles. Slag piles cover the large surface area, such as 70 acres to 40 meters. Still, there are not many ways to reuse the slag, and it is still problematic. But someway still exists, such as sandblast grit. It can be added to the mixture of concrete for extra strength.  There is a need for more research to find ways to make this slag re-useable.

Re-use of Tailing

Copper tailings are another big waste produced during mining. If these tailings blended with cement, then it has the best result. Bricks and mortars showed higher strength and abrasion resistance. In simple words, copper tailing enhances the performance of cement paste. Decades ago, tailings were considered useless, but thanks to research on recycling. There are different studies on tailing and how it can enhance the strength of the material. You can browse  Park Tae-Joon.


Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly copper mining produces the largest mining waste, and it challenges copper producing countries to use its waste. It is high time to introduce innovative ways to recycle these waste materials. Recycling  of waste materials is necessary for protecting the environment and the conservation of natural resources. It is an opportunity for the mining companies to pay more attention to this side and play their role by investing in such projects.