Stockpile Stability

Stockpile Stability

In Mining operations, stockpiles are used to separate the discontinuous mine operations from the processing plant that must function continuously by providing surge capacity.

They can be quite large (over several kilotons), are exposed to the environment and require continuous maintenance in order to minimize safety issues and handling concerns. Rainfall can run off the stockpile surface or penetrate the interstices between particles, which can either evaporate naturally or become stuck inside solids as free moisture. That additional mass increases transport costs and today is only mitigated partially by compacting the surface of the stockpiles with bulldozers. Additionally, run off water can collect fine particles from the stockpile surfaces which can clog sumps used for onsite water management or potentially to discharge into nearby streams and rivers.

Allonnia aims to solve this issue through the use of biological processes well known in soil aggregation. Microorganisms, found ubiquitously in the environment, are known to generate calcium carbonate under certain conditions. We are inspired by these bacteria that secrete calcite in the interstices of soil particles creating a soil agglomerate.

In this sense, we aim to utilize these known biochemical pathways to provide stockpile protection from the elements, freeing up time for operators, reducing the need for stockpile maintenance and reducing discharge of stockpiled material from being discharged off site.

We envision a product that can be applied to the surface of these stockpiles using readily available spraying technology typically used for dust control.

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