Karara Mining (KML) has awarded a 15-year contract to logistics group Bis Industries to provide a complete tailings management system for its Karara Iron Ore Project in Western Australia. The contract is worth approximately $23m a year.

Gindalbie Metals is developing the Karara Iron Ore in a joint venture with China-based AnSteel.

KML has incorporated a clarification process into the overall ore beneficiation process, which allows the de-watering of tailings to produce tailings that are dry and inert, thus enabling the application of a state-of-the-art tailings management system. Gindalbie managing director Tim Netscher said, "The resulting tailings comprise a dry, inert material composed predominantly of silica that will be stockpiled and progressively rehabilitated."

The Karara Project will use this system to manage the dry tailings produced. The tailings system will enable KML to reduce its water consumption by about a third, providing significant environmental benefits.

FL Smidth will provide a mobile stacking system that can handle up to 18.2Mtpa of tailings, or the equivalent tailings from the production of 10Mtpa of magnetite concentrate. The system will be operated at 14.6Mtpa (8Mtpa of dry magnetite concentrate production) and can accommodate increased concentrate throughout the plant as part of the planned second stage expansion of the Karara project.

The system will ultimately stack the tailings material up to 95m high (performed in three lifts) over a 20-year period.