Phibion releases first autonomous MudMaster

Australian-based Phibion launched the first of its fully autonomous mine tailings management systems capable of delivering around-the-clock operations in the most challenging waste environments at the recent World Mining Congress.

The supplier is delivering faster mine rehabilitation and safer tailings dam management through its unique methodology and MudMaster amphibious technology coupled with their patented accelerated mechanical consolidation (AMC) at operations in Australia, Jamaica, Chile and Brazil.

The new driverless Dart MudMaster means even greater efficiency and savings for mine operators, as well as improved safety and environmental outcomes for communities. It can halve in-situ tailings volume and deliver a 40% improvement in water recovery for operational reuse.

Phibion CEO Jacques Janse said Queensland’s resource sector experience and world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities made it the natural home of this technology.

“Our commitment to innovation and safety, along with the support of leading researchers and the Queensland government, have enabled Phibion to take this technology to the world,” Janse said.

“We are making tailings dams safer, smaller and more sustainable which means resource companies can deliver on their ESG ambitions and return land back to communities faster and better than ever before.”

Tailings are part of virtually all mining and refining operations. If not managed correctly, they can become a high safety risk that creates legacy issues for the local community and the environment.

The MudMaster technology solution works to make tailings dams safer and smaller by rapidly dewatering and consolidating the material to create strength and free up volume for future deposition at a fraction of the cost of traditional capital-intensive alternative systems.

The new Dart MudMaster will deliver even greater efficiencies. The autonomous machine can operate longer based on a remotely assigned operational plan, carried out in the most effective and efficient way before returning to a designated set-down area. This improves performance and results in greater fuel efficiency.

Janse said autonomous operations meant the Dart MudMaster could operate in the most challenging tailings environments, normally unsuitable for workers due to potential exposure to toxic substances.

“We see this as a game-changer for mining tailings management and land rehabilitation projects around the globe,” Janse said.

The Dart MudMaster was available as a commercial product beginning 1 July.

 Source: Phibion