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Swedish-Chinese research team recycles waste from mining

Published: 27 January 2014

LTU researchers Qi Jia and Qixing Yang works with Chinese researchers in order to develop new environmentally friendly fill material for mines. The researchers use residues from ore mining which will now be refined.

Problems related to the environmental impact and significant costs for disposal of waste materials from mining, are everyday problems related to mining industry.

- By refining and reusing so-called iron sand, where the raw material is slag from copper production, we hope to develop a material that is environmentally friendly and less expensive than the materials used today, says researcher Qi Jia. Iron sand may replace cement which is expensive and is used as a binder in back-fill material today.

In China, where the mines are very deep and where security is a problem, there is a great need of good fillers. Sweden needs to solve problems related to the disposal of mining waste. Iron sand will now be modified in collaboration with Chinese researchers and companies. Tests of the new product is made both in China and in Luleå

Project Stabilization and optimization of back-fill the mines with mining wastes is financed by VINNOVA and the Swedish Energy Agency collaborative programs around environmental innovations between Sweden and China. The project is led by Sven Knutsson, project leader and Bo Björkman, assistant project leader.