Challenges for the Destiny of Iron Mining Tailings in the Iron Quadrangle of Minas Gerais, Brazil


  • Glaucia Marcossi Cardoso Duarte Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear - CDTN
  • Fernando Soares Lameiras Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear



Banded iron formations are exploited in the Iron Quadrangle of Minas Gerais, Brazil. To produce the iron ore concentrate, these rocks are processed by a physicochemical process. Huge amounts of tailings are generated, that were stored in dams. After two major collapses of dams in the years 2015 and 2019 with severe loss of lives and environmental impacts, the storage in new dams was prohibited. The storage of tailings in piles or in exhausted open pits and their utilization as raw materials to produce several products are being considered. The huge amount of tailings and their characteristics, especially the fine granulometry, are the challenges that scientists and engineers must face to develop applications for them. Research and developments carried out or being carried out to address the issue of these tailings in the region of the Iron Quadrangle are presented in this paper.

Keywords: iron ore, tailings, storage, alkali activation, concrete






Número Especial: Química para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável