Driving sustainability through systems innovation

Towards zero waste and emission of minor elements

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The Minerals Down Under Flagship will work towards the zero waste goal by adopting a whole-of-system approach, creating value from processing waste streams.

Building materials

Geopolymer-based products from fly ash and residues will be converted into building materials, such as 'green' concrete.

Treatment and conversion of tailings to high value products such as solar-grade silicon is also being investigated.

The Flagship is also focused on minimising the environmental impact of tailings.

Minimising dispersion of hazardous elements into the atmosphere

The development and application of advanced predictive thermodynamic models for the metallurgical accounting of minor elements will allow the development of new practices for minimising dispersion of hazardous elements into the atmosphere.

It will also facilitate the early and selective removal and safe disposal of toxic elements such as:

  • arsenic
  • mercury
  • lead
  • cadmium.

Minimising the environmental impact of tailings

The Flagship is also focused on minimising the environmental impact of tailings.

Researchers are working closely with industry to develop a detailed understanding of the migration and fate of contaminants contained in tailings streams.

This will enable us to develop solutions that will assist industry to meet environmental compliance legislation and implement effective mine closure strategies.