Tailings reprocessing from Cabeço do Pião dam in Central Portugal: A kinetic approach of experimental data

Author ORCID Identifier

Janine Figueiredo 0000-0003-1396-7889

Maria Cristina Vila 0000-0002-5063-5632

Diogo Martins 0000-0002-6900-5702

Aurora Futuro 0000-0003-2484-4788

Maria de Lurdes Dinis 0000-0002-4774-2533

Joaquim Góis 0000-0002-1916-0966

Alexandre Leite 0000-0002-4137-6632

António Fiúza 0000-0001-8435-8314


The mining waste and tailing dam are object of discussion due to the accidents that occur due to a lack of control or due to interest in the remaining minerals present in these materials. Most of the old tailings dams have high contents of heavy metals which could represent potential risks to the environment or be an alternative source of some critical raw materials. The case study of the Cabeço do Pião dam in Central Portugal involved tailings from a processing plant that belonged to the Panasqueira Mine Complex, which has been in operation for over 120 years. Waste rock and mining tailings were deposited in the area until 1995, and they represent an environmental liability for the local population due to their high content of toxic metals. Tailings reprocessing can be considered as a solution that minimizes social and environmental impacts, recovers some essential minerals, such as Zn, W, and Cu which can help to offset investments made. The project design involves several stages of metal concentration, determined by experiments, as well as a model of the process. The overall model will take into account technological constraints, social-economic conditions and environmental impacts. A preliminary result of an optimization study of the kinetic approach is presented in this piece of work.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.