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MEI Online: Reagents: Latest News: November 4th 2004


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:: Ciba Specialty Chemicals Launches Ciba® RHEOMAX Technologies for the Mining Industry

Ciba Specialty Chemicals is introducing the RHEOMAX trilogy of technologies for the mining industry. The RHEOMAX technologies offer a step change in tailings management by enabling the mining industry to minimize water consumption and maximize water recovery as well as reducing land areas consumed by tailings disposal and minimizing the costs and time required to rehabilitate such land.

The disposal of tailings, the mine waste, is becoming a critical issue for the life and expansion of existing mines and for the development of new mining projects", says Jim McCummiskey, Business Line Head Water Treatment at Ciba, "With our RHEOMAX technologies, we are offering our customers in the mining industry a practical means of improving all areas of tailings management, reducing tailings disposal costs and improving their water usage efficiency"

Ciba® RHEOMAX - Density and Rheology (DR)

  • Ciba® RHEOMAX Flocculants manufactured using the DR Technology show superior flocculating properties to conventional chemistry flocculants for many different mineral ore types and offer a significant reduction in overall consumption at similar settling rates.
  • Ciba® RHEOMAX DR products create structures which are more robust than those formed by conventional flocculants and are more tolerant of fluctuations in plant and feedwell conditions. The modified flocculated particle structure also improves compression and dewatering characteristics to give substantially higher underflow densities without compromising yield stress.
  • Resulting benefits from RHEOMAX DR technology may include higher process throughput into a leach process without impact on leach kinetics, enhanced water recovery at the thickener, reduced water loss through evaporation at the tailings dam and a substantial saving in the cost of recovering or replenishing process water.

Ciba® RHEOMAX - Enhanced Tailings Disposal (ETD)

  • Ciba Specialty Chemicals' RHEOMAX ETD technology is an application that utilizes rheology-modifying products to deliver enhanced tailings characteristics at the point of disposal.
  • The application of CibaŽ RHEOMAX ETD products offers the opportunity for a more effective co-disposal process generating homogenized, stable, faster drying tailings which can be rehabilitated far earlier and more easily.
  • Untreated tailings carry fine material with the water and 'channels' through established areas, washing previously deposited material down toward the water recovery area. The use of RHEOMAX ETD technology results in material being deposited evenly with both coarse and fine particles being held within the structure. The resulting clean water then migrates toward the recovery area relatively free of particulates. This offers substantial benefits in the management of tailings disposal areas as well as the potential for a significant increase in storage capacity.

Ciba® RHEOMAX - Thickened Clay Technology (TCT)

  • Ciba® RHEOMAX TCT products represent a new technology for tailings management in mining operations. This novel physical engineering alternative to traditional aboveground thickener installations forms part of a complete process for tailings treatment.
  • The system consists of a number of components to achieve its final goal of maximizing clean water recovery, minimizing disposed clay volume at a reduced flocculant dosage.
  • The TCT process gives lower disposal costs, reduced pond construction and maintenance expenditure, and a minimized reclamation area.




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