A holistic approach in re-mining old tailings deposits for the supply of critical-metals: A portuguese case study(Article)(Open Access)

MineralsOpen Access

Journal Article

Demand growth for metallic minerals has been faced with the need for new techniques and improving technologies for all mining life-cycle operations. Nowadays, the exploitation of old tailings and mine-waste facilities could be a solution to this demand, with economic and environmental advantages. The Panasqueira Mine has been operating for more than a century, extracting tungsten and tin ore. Its first processing plant, “Rio”, was located near the Zêrere river, where mineral-processing residues were deposited on the top hillside on the margin of this river in the Cabeço do Pião tailings dam. The lack of maintenance and monitoring of this enormous structure in the last twenty years represents a high risk to the environment and the population of the surrounding region. A field-sample campaign allowed the collection of data, and resulted from laboratory tests to use regression optimization. Re-mining the tailings by hydrometallurgical methods was considered to satisfy the two conditions of metal demand and environmental risk. The metal content in Cabeço do Pião was shown be enough for environmental restoration. The re-mining solution was studied, taking into account the technical, economic, social, and environmental aspects. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

J.a Figueiredo

M.a Cristina Vila

A.a Fiúza

J.a Góis

A.a Futuro

M.a Lurdes Dinis

D.b Martins


Year of publication: 2019


ISSN: 2075163X


DOI: 10.3390/min9100638

Alternative Titles