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CNQ Signs Distribution Agreement for ATA® Technology in South Africa

28 February 2023

Clean TeQ Water is making steady progress in the rapidly growing tailings dewatering market through an ATA® technology distribution agreement with Stitchwise for use in backfilling in South Africa. 

Mine tailings are a liquid slurry made of fine metal or mineral particles and water, produced from mined ore after it is crushed and finely ground to extract the valued metals and minerals. Tailings can be a substantial environmental and safety risk and regulators and mining companies are pushing to reduce the footprints of tailings and remove water-containing tailings storage facilities. According to industry reports, the global Mining Tailings Management market size is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.56% and reaching USD$259 billion by 2027 (source).

CNQ Signs Distribution Agreement for ATA® Technology in South Africa

Tailings facility with recoverable water

ATA® technology uses smart chemistry to agglomerate the fine particles with the coarser ones in the tailings, accelerating the dewatering process and improving the settleability and final consolidation of the tailings. Such dewatered tailings can also be used for backfill of underground mining in which the physical characteristics of the tailings are critical to operability and safety in this application. Stitchwise is the market leader in the South African backfill market and manages 65% of the total volume of backfill placed at all underground mines in South Africa.

Clean TeQ Water will partner with Stitchwise to introduce the ATA® technology into the underground backfillmarket in South Africa. Stitchwise manufactures geotextile backfill bags at their factory in Carletonville and their subsidiary, Underground Technical Consultants Pty Ltd operates as the consulting and servicing arm of the group, managing several underground operators and supervisors that ensure backfill placement is done safely.

ATA® technology will allow the mines to accelerate dewatering and use their existing tailings to backfill directly, enabling quicker advancement of the stope. Stitchwise and UTC are well-positioned to implement ATA® technology in these underground backfill applications as they are already managing backfilling in many of these shafts.

Under the Agreement, Stitchwise will have exclusive rights to use the ATA® technology for its existing customer base throughout underground mining sites in South Africa. Stitchwise will buy the chemical used in the process from Clean TeQ Water and pay a license fee per ton of backfill treated by ATA®. Clean TeQ Water will supply the chemicals and provide technical support. The contract is valid for 12 months after signing.

Clean TeQ Water and Stitchwise are currently working with several clients in testing the application of ATA® in this application with a demonstration plant being constructed for larger-scale trials. We expect to see ATA® technology used in several South African mines soon.

The addition of the ATA® technology to our product portfolio strengthens our position in mining, one of our primary target markets. We are delighted to work with Stitchwise, South Africa’s market leader in underground mining back-fill operations, in introducing ATA® to this market. We envision this to be the first of many and are looking forward to supporting mining companies around the world who are looking to manage and reduce their tailings.

Willem VriesendorpChief Executive Officer, Clean TeQ Water