IMPACT OF AB MINERALS’ ECO-FRIENDLY COLTAN (TANTALITE) PROCESSING SOLUTION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
AB Minerals’ summary of the environmental impact of chemicals used, gases, water, waste rock and radioactivity from its new technology for processing tantalite bearing ores. The solution addresses the challenges of delivering a cost-effective separation technology through reduced energy and water consumption while having minimal environmental impact.
This environmentally friendly process will allow the extraction of tantalite ores that would previously have been deemed uneconomical or unsafe to transport. AB Minerals can install plants in any jurisdiction in the world and meet even the most rigorous environmental standards.
Handling of the Chemicals Used in the Process
AB Minerals’ process does not use Hydrofluoric Acid (“HF”). The chemical reagents used in this process come in a powder form and is much safer from an operational perspective than HF. The reagent is easily and safely transported and stored. By replacing HF in the process, the construction of the processing plant will utilize more standard materials, and will not require the use of exotic alloys.
Handling of the Gases
This is a chemical process in which certain off-gases are created. All gases are cleaned using scrubbing technology will remove up to 99.7% of dust and gases. Any release of emissions into the atmosphere will meet the strictest regulations in any country.
Handling of the Water
The processing plants are closed systems. Water is recycled and continues to be reused in the process, accounting for very little water loss. The need for additional water is limited as there is no discharge into the water system and recycling of water will account for approximately 95% of the water required in the process. Water will be recovered during the evaporation process and condensed, as well as in the scrubbing system. A reasonably productive well will provide sufficient quantities and quality of water for the ongoing needs of the plant. If required a small water treatment plant can be implemented.
Waste Rock Handling
The process creates a non-mineralized clean waste rock with no acidic seepage. The slag is environmentally benign and can be used for aggregate in concrete, and road construction.
Radioactivity in the Ore Being Processed
Tantalite bearing ores in some countries may contain naturally occurring radiation (uranium and thorium). In the event that these elements exceed safe environmental standards, the Company is able to extract the uranium and thorium. More ports today are monitoring for Class 7 radiation, rendering this type of ore non-transportable and non-saleable, without either expensive special handling or a smelter in-country. With AB Minerals’ in-country solution, these deposits can be mined to bring significant value to the country and its miners.
Only small volumes of uranium and thorium are expected to be recovered from the process and will be safely stored for future disposal.
AB Minerals has developed a coltan processing method that is the cleanest in the world. Measures have been included to reduce water and energy consumption, while creating no soil, water, or air pollution.
“We are excited with the development of this new environmentally-friendly processing technology that can be implemented in any country that hosts tantalite bearing minerals. It offers a lower cost technology that is non-toxic and significantly reduces the environmental impact, and will provide a sustainable future for countries that implement our solution”, stated Frank Balestra, CEO, AB Minerals Corp.