VOTORANTIM METAIS/CBA BAUXITE RESIDUE: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

Seno, R., Escobar, E.M., Moreno, R., Ceron, C.

Bauxite residue is a worldwide challenge for alumina refineries. Economic disposal for new deposits, lifetime increase of the existing ones, as well as the utilization of bauxite residue as raw material in other industries, even after more than 100 years of Bayer process existence, is still an ongoing process and no economically viable solution has been developed yet. Votorantim Metais/CBA wet disposal bauxite residue disposal area lifetime ends in 2019 and there is no possibility for expansion. To avoid a new dam construction, a study was developed to evaluate the possibility of changing the disposal method and its benefits. The installation of press filters using the existing dam presented the best performance, increasing the bauxite residue disposal lifetime by until 2050. In parallel, in cooperation with Votorantim Cimentos, a technology to process and use up to 30% of bauxite residue as raw material in the cement production was developed. Good quality cement was produced and the developed technology showed economic benefits for both Votorantim Cimentos and Votorantim Metais.