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Tailings Services

Minimising impact on natural resources is a top priority in industry today. With our comprehensive expertise in tailings management, SGS can be your partner for integrated tailings services. We provide experienced professionals to help you safely and effectively handle all operational work, sampling and testing related to tailings systems. Our wide range of services allows you to mitigate or neutralise effluents and solid tailings either within the plant or within the tailings pond itself.

From the process plant to the effluent pipe to the tailings pond, SGS offers specialised testing and solutions for all of your tailings needs.

Sustainable process design that ensures environmentally acceptable tailings including:

  • Chemical analysis
  • Metal leaching studies
  • Physical testing
  • Water, sludge and cyanide management strategies

Pilot plant services including:

  • Testing of ARD treatment processes
  • Effluent sampling on a 24-hour/day basis 
  • Mobile treatment plant for batch treating contaminated solutions

Environmental mineralogy including:

  • Grain size analysis
  • Identification of potential acid generating minerals
  • Containment mapping
  • Acid rock drainage (ARD) assessments

Testing for the prevention and control of acid rock drainage (ARD):

  • Static and kinetic testing
  • Humidity cells 

Management of liquid effluent including:

  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Rheology / pumping
  • Neutralisation, precipitation strategies

Water treatment solutions including:

  • Laboratory and pilot scale testing 
  • Design and engineering of water treatment solutions including the HDS (High Density Sludge) lime precipitation process
  • Plant or site audit and recommendations

Tailings pond services including:

  • Pond mapping, characterisation and sediment sampling
  • In situ sampling & testing
  • Slope angle monitoring
  • Particulate testing
  • Water-cap sampling, chemical analyses and reporting 
  • Dredge operations
  • Tailings cover design
  • Procurement, deployment, monitoring and maintenance of bird and animal deterrents including:
    • Scare cannon
    • Floating scarecrow effigies

Data warehousing

SGS is recognised for delivering quality solutions to environmental challenges. Partner with us and ensure your tailings are managed in an effective and environmentally responsible manner.

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Gold TailingsRe-processingRe-Processing Gold Tailings in South AfricaThis paper discusses the hydrometallurgical investigations of re-processing historic gold tailings, in the Witwatersand area of South Africa, to ...


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