Metalloinvest, a leading global iron ore and HBI producer and supplier, and one of the regional producers of high-quality steel, plans to invest RUB 52 billion to build an eco-efficient tailings storage facility at Lebedinsky GOK.
The use of advanced technologies will reduce the specific consumption of electricity by 25% and lower dust emissions by 90% while also reducing the operating costs involved in pumping tailings and returning water to the production process.
"What defines leadership in the mining and metals industry today is using not only advanced production technologies but also environmentally friendly technologies", said Metalloinvest CEO Nazim Efendiyev. "The construction of a new tailings storage facility signals a qualitative transition to a new level of environmental safety at LGOK."
All environmental requirements are being taken into account in the implementation of the project. Public hearings were held, and the project received positive reviews from the State Agency for Environmental Impact Assessment and the Main State Expert Review Board.
Plans for 2023 include the reconstruction of the thickening and circulating water supply system, site preparation for the tailings dam bed and the construction of bund walls, and preparation of the foundations for the main slurry pipelines. The construction of substations and a building for the preparation of reagents for water purification will also get under way.
The first start-up complex for the tailings dam is expected to begin operating in 2026. The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2028.
The new site will receive up to 20 million cubic metres of tailings annually.
Upon commissioning of the new tailings storage facility, the existing site will undergo reclamation.
Advanced technologies will be used to achieve a radical reduction in environmental impact. Anti-filtration screens will be installed at the bottom of the storage facility and the base of the dams to prevent the ingress of process water into the aquifers. Instruments will be used to monitor the condition of hydraulic structures. Protective dams up to 30 metres high will be built, with subsequent levels 5 metres high to be added later.
As part of the project, clarified water will be returned to the processing plant to be used in the production process.
The reconstruction of the thickening unit and the optimisation of the water-slurry system will enable a reduction in the specific consumption of electricity. Starting from 2026, the reconstruction of eight 50-metre and three 100-metre thickeners will reduce the operating costs involved in pumping tailings and returning water.