Presentation on theme: "Problem of Remediation of the Legacy Tailings Sites in Central Asia December 21, 1991 at a conference in Almaty, the Central Asian republics declared sovereignty."— Presentation transcript:
Problem of Remediation of the Legacy Tailings Sites in Central Asia December 21, 1991 at a conference in Almaty, the Central Asian republics declared sovereignty over their natural resources. Accordingly, the responsibility for the U mining legacies is with the national governments. In most of the Central Asian countries the present state of legacy sites is in violation of the standing public health standards Only in Kazakhstan is the remediation of the legacy sites funded by the national government The GNP of the other Central Asian countries is too small to provide for funding of the remediation of the legacy sites To commence remediation in Kyrghyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan international funding is needed.
Mailuu Suu: approx. 23,000 inhabitants East end of Fergana valley Impoverished region Close to Uzbek border Mailuu Suu river The Mailuu Suu remediation project demonstrates that international funding can provide the necessary impetus to commence remediation and make the national government participate in the project both financially and institutionally Courtesy of the IAEA
1 Feasibility Study comprising Remedial Options & prelim.estimates Environmental Impact Assessment ($ 0.65 million) 2 Implementation of Remedial Works examples: Ak Tuz: Tailings area 1($1.2 million) Tailings area 2($ 1.7 million) Tailings area 3($ 2.5 million) Tailings area 4($ 3.2 million) Min Kush Tuyuk Suu (relocation to D)($ 4.5 million) Taldy Bulak($ 0.7 million) 3 Monitoring and Maintenance Program ($ 0.5 million per year) (MES funding for Minkush approx. 250 – 350 K Som) 4 Public information and consulting ($ 1 million) 5 Regulatory capacity building, training, ($ 1.9 million) environmental information management system, laboratory upgrading, monitoring equipment 6 Technical Assistance (International Consultant) ($ 0.3 million) Components needed for a Remediation Project Proposal (The case of Ak-Tuz and Min Kush)
Key Components of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process Project description; Environmental assessment; Contaminant transport modeling; Pathways analysis; Human health implications; Radiation protection; Occupational health and safety; Training requirements; Quality Assurance/Quality Control Emergency response; Project management; Contingency planning; Monitoring/maintenance Socio-economics; and Stakeholder consultation.
Involvement of the Public Stakeholder Courtsy of the IAEA Possible approaches: Environmental Review Committee selected from local representatives who serve as multiplicators, Project Open House; Education of local population
The potential route for relocation of the Tuyuk Suu tailings. Distance to Dalneye approx 12 km. Cost factor: The road will have to be upgraded.
Tailings deposit at the Dalneye site. Sufficiently stable and large site to take the Tuyuk Suu tailings
The tailings relocation option Case of the Moab UMTRA Project in USA Courtesy of the US DOE UMTRA The Moab UMTRA Project is the largest tailings relocation project in the world. The relocation was done to full satisfaction of all stakeholders while maintaining a safety record free of lost time safety incidents, and execute work ahead of schedule and within budget.
The tailings relocation option case of the Moab UMTRA Project in USA Courtsy of the US DOE UMTRA Project The Haul Road (Construction Road) for Tailings Relocation in a mountainous terrain
The tailings relocation option case of the Moab UMTRA Project in USA Courtsy of the US DOE UMTRA Placement of the relocated Moab Site tailings into the Disposal Cell at the new site
Elements of Costing of the Tuyuk Suu Tailings Relocation Project a)Relocation of tailings to secure site and reclamation of existing site b)Stabilization of potential landslide areas c)Install, repaire or stabilize containment dams dams and dykes d)Establish or improve surface water management system to handle 1:100 year run-off event e)Repair, replace or decommissioning of subsurface drainage system f)Erosion protection of slopes, embankments and waterways g)Construction or repair of tailings cover h)Re-vegitation i)Fencing and signage j)Environmental/radiation monitoring and regular inspection k)Routine annual maintenance of slopes, drainage, structures and tailings areas
Some legacy tailings may contain marketable metals, e.g. gold (Ak- Tuz), Mo (Kara Balta), etc. However, - the distribution of these metals in the tailings varies horizontally and vertically according to the system and rhythm of discharge, and - compared to the ore- their geochemistry and mineralogy underwent considerable changes during processing and long storage. A complex sampling program is required to estimate the inventory of the respective metal and a tailor made technology of recovery must be developed. In case that metal recovery proves to be feasible the increased exposure of the workers and public to radiation must be added to the costs incurred in processing the tailings. Economics of Metal Recovery from Tailings
Economic Comparison for the Reprocessing of Mill Tailings at the Naturita and Moab Mill Sites Naturita Mill Site Data obtained from Phase II Title I Engineering Assessment of Inactive Uranium Mill Tailings, Naturita Site, Naturita, Colorado (Ford, Bacon & Davis Utah, Inc., November 1977). Reported Values:700,000 tons of tailings reprocessed @ 0.047 % U3O8equates to 0.94 lbs per ton (U3O8) @ 0.289 % V2O5equates to5.78 lbs per ton (V2O5) Period of operation:4th Quarter of 1977 thru 2nd Quarter of 1979 Market Prices (1977):$42.40 per lb U3O8; $6.05 per lb V2O5 Value per Ton:0.94 *$42.40 + 5.78 * $6.05 = $39.86 + $34.97 = $74.83 per ton Ranchers estimated the cost of reprocessing to be between $30 $34 per ton.
Economic Comparison for the Reprocessing of Mill Tailings at the Naturita and Moab Mill Sites Moab Mill Site Moab data obtained from J. Berwick, DOE Reported Values:10,500,000 tons of tailings to be reprocessed @ 72mg/kg U3O8equates to 0.144 lbs per ton (U3O8) @ 780 mg/kg V2O5equates to1.56 lbs per ton (V2O5) Market Prices (2004):$19.25 per lb U3O8; $5.00 per lb V2O5 Value per Ton:0.144 *$19.25 + 1.56 * $5.00 = $2.77 + $7.80 = $10.57 per ton Ranchers estimated the cost of reprocessing to be between $30 $34 per ton (1977)
Economic Comparison for the Reprocessing of Mill Tailings at the Naturita and Moab Mill Sites Conclusions From a strictly economic standpoint (i.e., notwithstanding 25+ years of inflation, recovery rates, and other factors that may potentially influence the decision to reprocess the Moab tailings), the value of the minerals (uranium and vanadium) in the Naturita tailings was approximately 7 times the value of the same minerals in the Moab tailings. If reprocessing costs remained equitable to those estimated in 1977 ($30 per ton), reprocessing the Moab tailings would not be economical.
Metal recovery from the legacy tailings is seldom economically feasible. Beyond metal content and form of the metal in tailings the economic feasibility depends on the market price of the respective metal. To assess the feasibility of metal recovery, complex and costly investigations are required. To get private companies with the necessary know how and technology interested in tailings reprocessing it is recommended to define projects, which combine recovery and remediation in one project. The project implementation could then be done by means of a public-private partnership. The governments would fund the remediation and request the private company to investigate the feasibility of metal recovery within the remediation project as well. This would provide the necessary incentive (i.e. additional profit) to the private enterprises to investigate the feasibility of tailings recycling and -if feasible- make the investment into the processing plant. The funding of the remediation project, provided by the government could be covered by a combination of international funding (WB, EBRD, EIB, NIB/NEFCO, or other institutions) and co-funding from the national budget. Recommendations re project proposals for tailings remediation in Central Asia