Scientific competencies:Sustainable mining, mine waste management, circular economy
Yassine Taha is an Assistant Professor at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco.His research interests revolve around phosphate sustainable mining, mine waste management andvalorization, development of high-value added materials based on industrial solid wastes, resourcerecovery and low-grade ore beneficiation, low carbon footprint materials for construction, life cycleassessment and circular economy.
- PHOSPHATES BY-PRODUCTS REUSE: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Phosphate industry around the world produces huge volumes of mine wastes. These wastes are generally surface landfilled in the vicinity of extraction sites leading, even if geochemically inert, to important environmental impacts and large footprint (several dozen hectares). Phosphate ores are then concentrated, generating important tonnage of wastes after mining beneficiation and transformation processes. These wastes are becoming more and more closer to urban areas due to footprint enlargement, population growth and cities extension. Therefore, this paper aims in presenting the current practices of phosphate wastes management in the world understanding the typology of waste streams and their characteristics. The goal is to suggest more sustainable management methods and to explore new future opportunities related to the re-use and reprocessing of these wastes. Three waste categories are targeted: waste rocks, tailings sludges and phosphogypsum. Some possible high value-added products from these types of wastes are suggested based on their characteristics, location and volume. Construction aggregates, ceramics, bricks, cement, glass, acid mine drainage control, and road-base construction are among the possible explored channels. A preliminary waste management guideline is presented based on international benchmarking and the current development outcomes. The reuse of these wastes should be included in the future plans of almost mining industries looking to reach the sustainable development goals.
Keywords: Circular economy; phosphate mine waste; wastes management; waste rock, tailings; phosphogypsum, industrial ecology; valorization; construction materials; water treatment.