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Vendor engagement for tailings reduction technologies

13 January 2023

ICMM is inviting vendors and research institutions to provide an Expression of Interest (EoI) to support our work towards innovative tailings reduction technologies.

Who Are We and Why Is It Important?

ICMM is a global leadership organisation focused on creating a safe, just and sustainable world through responsibly produced metals and minerals. ICMM is looking to support member companies to build clear pathways to implement tailings reduction technologies, as committed in its Tailings Reduction Roadmap. The aim is to encourage our suppliers and customers to join us in reducing tailings waste of our value chains while we support the reduction of the value chains of others.

Catastrophic tailings dam failures at Brumadinho (Brazil) in 2019, Samarco (Brazil) in 2015 and Mount Polley (Canada) in 2014 serve as stark reminders that there is still more to be done if we are to reach the ambition of zero harm to people and the planet from mining operations.

ICMM members commit to work towards designing, constructing, operating, monitoring and decommissioning tailings facilities in conformance with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. To support this commitment, ICMM has developed Tailings Management: Good Practice Guide and associated training materials to support its practical use and implementation. In addition, we have developed Conformance Protocols to enable conformance with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management to be assessed.

What Are We Looking for Vendors To Support Us On?

ICMM is looking for vendors to support ICMM members by providing tailings reduction technologies that can accelerate efforts to significantly reduce the volume of tailings waste produced in the industry.

We are welcoming a wide range of solutions that can support tailings reduction efforts across the whole mining value chain, from precision geology, precision mining, precision segregation, in-situ/ex-situ recovery, tailings enhancement and valorisation. In terms of more disruptive solutions, we welcome the opportunity to connect with vendors and research organisations that have solutions with Technology Level Readiness (TRL) above 6 in the European Union definition, to assess opportunities to accelerate their commercial development.

Selected vendors and research institutions that can provide the relevant and suitable solutions will be invited to attend a vendor engagement session where collaboration opportunities will be explored.

When and Where Will the Vendor Engagement Session Be Held?

The vendor engagement session will be held virtually, tentatively on the weeks commencing end of march.

What Is the Objective of the Vendor Engagement Session?

The objective is to explore and identify vendors and innovative technologies that offer solutions to reduce tailings (see Problem Statement in Appendix 1), with a view to increasing collaboration between members, vendors and academic institutions to help ICMM members build clear pathways to significantly reduce the production of tailings through innovations across the mining cycle.

This is a pre-commercial process to explore collaboration opportunities – there is no guarantee that ICMM company members will make any purchases as a result of this process.

Vendor Selection Process

  • Interested vendors and research institutions are asked to submit their EoI via this form. The EoI will outline why the company/institution, potentially and preferably in collaboration with other practitioners/researchers, are well-placed to address the Problem Statement.
  • Selection criteria will include scalability and applicability across different commodities and availability in key mining jurisdictions.
  • ICMM will invite the shortlisted vendors to attend a virtual engagement session tentatively scheduled during the weeks commencing the first week of march.

Vendor Engagement Session

A roundtable discussion with ICMM members and selected vendors and research institutions will be held virtually. The sessions will be organised around categories of reduction technologies (e.g., precision geology, precision mining etc) in order to have suitable specialists as attendees. The exact details on the time and format will be provided closer to the time.

About ICMM’s innovation vehicles

ICMM stands for mining with principles. We bring together a third of the global metals and mining industry, along with key partners to drive leadership, action and innovation for sustainable development, ultimately delivering a positive contribution to society. Through collaboration, ICMM member companies set the standard for responsibly produced minerals and metals in a safe, just and sustainable world.

The goal of ICMM’s Innovation workstream is the creation of new products, processes or approaches that enable significant progress on key mining sustainability challenges to ultimately reach net zero, full circularity, zero harm and waste – and for them to be widely adopted.

We do this by identifying mining and metals operations that are leading in the implementation of promising technologies and leverage knowledge of key conditions in these sites to accelerate our members’ adoption of solutions.

Through this experience, ICMM has developed strategic innovation vehicles:

  • Vendor engagement sessions: Providing exposure and access to relevant solutions by facilitating vendor engagement sessions with our members, we are growing our network of solutions providers into wider innovation platforms.
  • Testing and adoption: Members partner with vendors to pilot technologies at their operations and provide feedback on their implementation that helps companies scale up solutions and informs the development of ICMM guidance for wider industry.
  • Innovation session: Identifying member sites that are leading the way on specific sustainability topics or pilot project, and bringing other companies, solution providers and stakeholders to these sites in-person to gain first-hand knowledge and workshop remaining challenges together.
  • Innovation platform: Based on the success of initial innovation models and our database of manufacturers, technology vendors and relevant industry groups, facilitating wider partnerships between multiple members and solution providers to tackle challenges across multiple leading sites. For example, ICMM’s Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative.

If you share our vision for a safe, just and sustainable world and believe in the power of collaboration and innovation to solve big challenges, then there’s a good chance we should be working together. If we aren’t already, please get in touch.