Valorization of Iron Ore Tailing (IOT) Waste Through the Circular Economy Concept: A Sustainable Solution Towards Mitigation of Resource Crisis and Climate Change

  • Bishnu Pada Bose Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Swami Vivekananda University, Kolkata, India
Keywords: Iron ore tailing, Resource crisis, Environment, Circular economy, Valorization of tailing


Worldwide exponential population growth causes tremendous resource crises leading to declining sustainable development in the global context; on the other side, massive waste materials generating worldwide, causing degrading biodiversity and loss of nature's regenerative capacity. Rapid population growth is a worldwide concern regarding fulfilling the resource demand and accelerating industrial growth. Among the different waste materials, iron ore tailing (IOT) is a valuable waste with a huge potential to reproduce secondary material and mitigate resource crises. Tailings are dumped mostly in specially made dams that occupy vast land areas and continue to pollute the surrounding environment. Failure of the tailing dam incurs enormous environmental, economic, human, and animal losses and declining sustainability in mining industries. Using tailing waste as an alternative to virgin resources through the circular economy process would be a sustainable solution to eliminate all associated hazards and impacts pertaining to tailing storage and maintenance. Worldwide, the circular economy concept is gaining acceptance; in this process, tailing waste can be recycled fully through the continuous circulation loop. This paper presented the opportunities and possibilities for recycling and valorization of the IOT for different applications. Recycling and valorizing IOT through the circular economy concept can replenish the depletion of natural resources, eliminates pollution, clean the environment, restore biodiversity, reduce the burden from the biosphere, mitigate global warming, and improve sustainability. 


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