Without strong legal requirements in place, economics have often if not always been the main barrier in treating metallugical wastes. Over time and with more knowledge of the adverse environmental impact metallurgical operations could cause, regulation has caught up even in many emerging countries. People now recognize the fundamental importance of treating minerals and metals minimising the impact on the environment.
Many tailings, deposits and other type of minerals were never processed and metals remains available to be extracted, re mediated and cleaned up. Due to the limited amount of contained metals, a full complex hydro metallurgical operation, often does not make sense to treat such residues and one needs to find an adequate solution to make sense of such operation.
Clearly an ELSA processing line, with its low energy requirement, mobility and low grade treatment ability can make previously uneconomical projects economically viable. Such operation would clean the residues, forbid future environmental damage from natural leaching, and create value both for the operator, for the investor and for the surrounding communities.