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Major miners BHP and Rio Tinto are inviting expressions of interest for a range of new tailings technology partners.

The announcement comes after both companies formed a partnership agreement in October 2022 to accelerate the development of the tailing technologies and management, including tailings dewatering and transport technologies, chemical amendment, and dust mitigation.

Both companies are welcoming applications from technology providers, equipment manufacturers, reagent suppliers, start-up companies and research groups, to help improve tailings dewatering and management performance.

BHP and Rio Tinto will collaborate to identify a portfolio of tailings management partners the companies can work with to accelerate development of technologies which have the potential to increase water recovery, reduce potential safety risks and environmental footprints associated with tailings storage facilities.

Both companies said the ideas and technologies considered can be market ready for mining, can involve technologies previously applied in other resource-related industries, or can be original ideas at an early research and development stage.

BHP head of sustainability innovation Ingrid Oyarzun said the major miner is looking for new partners to improve the tailing management space.

“There are so many innovative thinkers out there and we want to bring them in as partners to help us improve in this critical area for safety and sustainability of our operations,” Oyarzun said.

Rio Tinto chief advisor research and development Saskia Duyvesteyn said the company is looking forward to finding ways to improve safety and reduce carbon footprint associated with tailing facilities.

“We want to tap into the wealth of great ideas and innovations we know are out there and work together to find ways to improve safety and reduce the environmental footprint of tailings facilities,” Duyvesteyn said.