Mining dams pose a substantial risk, and residue management clearly needs to change. Alfa Laval is leading that transformation. The robust design and large capacity of our solid-bowl decanter centrifuges have proven the perfect solution for safe and secure dewatering of mining tailings. The small footprint substantially reduces installation space. The consistency of the solids fraction is perfect for co-disposal or dry stacking. And you recover large volumes of water for reuse.

A hand holdning the dry output of a decanter

Ensuring a fast, continuous process for safe, clean and efficient solid-liquid separation

  • High capacity and separation efficiency with optimal solids dryness
  • Long working life
  • Designed for high-density sludge
  • Compact design and small installation area
  • Easy to scale-up capacities from test results
The proven design and performance of Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges are based on decades of research and development in challenging solid-liquid separation applications. The unique bowl geometries, exceptional solids handling rates and robust design combine to set new standards in mining tailings management. The Alfa Laval decanter is wear-resistant, made with high-grade materials to withstand harsh environment of erosion and corrosion.

How the technology works

Alfa Laval P2 and P3 decanter centrifuges are specifically designed to separate mineral ore slurries as well as tailings into solid phase and liquid phase. Separation takes place in a horizontal cylindrical bowl equipped with a screw conveyor. The feed slurry enters into the bowl through a stationary inlet tube and is then smoothly accelerated in the feed zone. Centrifugal forces of up to 3,500 G separate the solid particles from the liquid and the solids accumulate on the inner surface of the bowl.

The conveyor rotates in the same direction as the bowl, but at a different speed. This gives an axial thrust to the solid particles and the conveyor conveys those particles towards the conical end of the bowl. The solids leave the bowl through the solids discharge openings into the casing whereas the clarified liquid leaves the bowl by flowing over adjustable plate dams or power tubes into the casing.

Decanter benefits

  • Short payback time
  • High cake dryness
  • High volume capacity
  • Contained process resulting in good working conditions
  • Full support from our global service team, even in remote locations

Tailing dewatering


Breaking new ground in mining and minerals

Alfa Laval’s solid-bowl decanter centrifuges are the perfect choice for a wide range of solid-liquid separation duties in mining and mineral applications. They can replace or complement existing solutions and help boost capacity, reduce tailings volumes, save space and increase the recovery of water, chemicals and minerals. Above all, the decanter eliminates the need for tailing damns which enhance the intrinsic safety of your operation. 

Optimizing your solid-liquid separation processes is a straightforward way to cut operating and investment costs while minimizing your company’s environmental impact. In many cases you can raise plant profitability by simply adding Alfa Laval’s solid-bowl decanter centrifuges to traditional separation systems such as thickeners, sedimentation basins, filters, etc, or replace the old system altogether.



Rix’s Creek Coal Preparation Plant, Australia

The Rix’s Creek coal mining operation, part of the Bloomfield Group, set out to improve its onsite coal tailings management as part of its sustainability strategy. This is done in order to reduce water and energy consumption and minimize the surface footprint of waste handling processes.

Rix's creek Coal Preparation Plant in Australia

Mature fine tailings, Canada

More than 30 Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges have been installed at three different tailings treatment sites in Canada. The decanters have proven to be an outstandingly efficient solution for large-scale dewatering of tailings. They efficiently remove the finest particles that conventional solids control equipment is unable to deal with.

Syncrude in Canada

Eti Maden, Turkey

The world’s largest borate mining company is Eti Maden in Turkey. There they use an array of fully protected Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges to separate tailings from a saturated borate solution. The company is very pleased with the long track record of reliable operation, low maintenance costs and strong local service support from Alfa Laval.

Eti Maden in Turkey

Tailings management

Meet the tailings dewatering challenge with Alfa Laval’s decanter centrifuges. They offer a cost effective, sustainable and, above all, safe solution to manage tailings. Download the brochure to read more about our cleaner, more efficient and safer solid-liquid separation systems.

tailing ponds

Make sustainable development happen!

If you are looking for ways to increase the efficiency of your tailings management and make a meaningful contribution to the global sustainable development goals, contact Alfa Laval today to learn more about our proven and cost efficient solutions.

Man wearing a jacket with Alfa Laval logotype