Environmental management company I-CAT Environmental Solutions – in partnership with gold producer and surface gold tailings retreatment expert DRDGold – has reduced the impact of dust on communities in the vicinity of DRD’s tailings dam surrounding the FNB Stadium, in Johannesburg, by applying the I-CAT TDS 2005 tailings dam seal solution.
The I-CAT TDS 2005 is a matrix blend of a patented anionic surfactant and other environment-friendly binding products, explains I-CAT Environmental Solutions project manager Jacques Diamond.
Owing to its unique properties, this liquid gel can penetrate the surface of a tailings dump and open soil areas, creating a durable bond that binds loose aggregate by forming a crust.
Diamond explains that the crust, which remains porous, enables water to penetrate the surface without running the risk of being washed away under heavy precipitation.
The I-CAT TDS 2005 seal was applied more than a year ago at the DRD site and is still offering 95% coverage of the area, says Diamond.
He points out that there are four permanent and nine temporary employees working on the tailings dam.
“Suppressing dust on a tailings dam can be quite challenging,” says Diamond, adding that the company has consistently been gathering more insight and is applying the know-ledge as the project progresses, with “research and development ongoing”.
He also highlights that I-CAT offers solutions that can withstand wind speeds of up to 100 km/h while remaining effective.
Diamond says the company’s tailings dam solutions, which are manufactured and developed in South Africa, are tailor-made to suit customer requirements and project specifications.
Further, I-CAT believes that the reclamation of mining dams that are currently surrounded by communities and vegetation, holds the biggest potential for the company’s solutions to be implemented in future.
Dust is currently not a problem at these sites, but as the land is reclaimed and the vegetation is removed, measures to mitigate the impact of dust will need to be implemented because of the surrounding communities, concludes Diamond.