BHP and Rio Tinto are committed to contributing to a more sustainable and safer mining industry. They want to enhance social value and minimize environmental impact by decreasing demand for water resources and limiting operational footprints. Their success will improve integrity and reduce risks associated with current tailings management solutions. As part of this mission, they are seeking to identify, promote development, and accelerate market availability of breakthrough innovations and technologies.

To achieve this, the miners are partnering with Fundacion Chile (FCH), which specializes in facilitating innovation partnering and multi-stakeholder coordination, to facilitate a “Tailings Technologies Open Call” process to identify such innovations and technologies.  


The Tailings Technologies Open Call aims to identify and accelerate the market availability of innovative, holistic, and economically sustainable technologies that could significantly improve the dewatering, transportation and stacking of mine tailings, and in turn reduce potential safety risks associated with tailings facilities.  

BHP and Rio Tinto are inviting global equipment and reagent suppliers, technology providers, start-up companies, and research groups who possess technologies which could contribute to this goal and may benefit from the assistance and support of the miners. 

Interested parties are invited to submit high level, non-confidential information about their technology via the Tailings Technologies Innovation Platform. FCH together with the miners will then evaluate the potential of all submissions received considering the nature and maturity of the technology and the capabilities of the proponents. 

Over time, BHP and Rio Tinto hope to identify a portfolio of high potential technologies and suitable partners with whom they can collaborate to help develop and accelerate market readiness and potential application at BHP and Rio Tinto operations.   


BHP and Rio Tinto have already demonstrated significant interest and investment in developing non-conventional tailings solutions, having announced their first collaboration project which involved building a demonstration plant for a large-scale tailings filtration technology at one of BHP’s operations in South America. 

The miners now wish to broaden their collaboration to help accelerate the maturing of other technologies and bring them to market readiness. By partnering with us, you will potentially benefit from: 

access to our mining domain knowledge and technical insights
funding to support technology development and evaluation
access to actual tailings materials and data for testing and validation from a wide range of mine sites and commodities.

We understand that each technology and situation is unique, and as such our contributions will depend on the maturity and capabilities of your technology and needs. We are committed to fostering collaboration and joint publication, to further enhance the visibility of your technology and provide a pathway to your commercial success.

As a technology owner, you will retain ownership of your technology, and we will work together to determine the most appropriate intellectual property ownership/licensing expectations for any technology we develop together. Our goal is to support you in developing and demonstrating the capabilities of your technology, and to ensure you are fully prepared for market adoption, including at BHP and Rio Tinto Operations.

Please note that this process is not a competition, and we encourage all technology owners to participate regardless of the size or scope of their organization. While we may pursue several technologies identified through this process, we may also choose not to pursue any.

Our focus is on identifying and collaborating with technology owners who have a passion for innovation and a desire to make a positive impact in the mining industry. Join us on this exciting journey and help us shape the future of tailings management.


The miners seek technologies and solutions in the following domains:

Thickening, filtering, or other preparation of tailings to assist in dewatering.
Tailings dewatering (either chemically, mechanically or through other physical principles)
Material handling and transport of dewatered tailings (including slurry, paste and filter cake)
Placement and deposition of dewatered tailings
Monitoring and remediation
Any other technologies to assist with achieving target moisture content, physical or geotechnical, and chemical stability of tailings facilities.

Technologies of particular interest will be those which:

Are suitable for high volume filtering or dewatering of tailings (>30,000 tpd)
Have the potential for break-through or step change improvements in performance or cost effectiveness over current solutions
Are at early-stage technology readiness to prototype level (Technology Readiness Levels below 7)
Technologies that form part of a holistic tailings management solution for reducing environmental impact, risk, energy intensity and carbon footprint
Will benefit most from the support and participation of the miners.


The Miners will not consider Technologies and solutions which:

Do not relate to the tailings scope defined above

In particular, the Miners will not consider technologies which apply upstream of the concentrator tailings discharge or downstream to the repurposing or valorization of tailings.

Proven and market ready technologies

Are existing proven and market ready technologies or represent only incremental improvements to established solutions

Not scalable

Are not scalable (to at least 30,000 tonnes per day tailings processing capacity).


BHP and Rio Tinto invite submissions from established companies, OEMs, start-ups, and research groups (including equipment and reagents suppliers). Applicants may be from the mining sector, but this is NOT a requirement as the miners are interested in investigating how technologies from other sectors may have potential application to tailings management.  

What is critical is that applicants either own the technology or have the required rights to apply the technology to the mining sector. 


This is an open call process that will be receiving technologies on a rolling admission basis. This means that the applicants can express their interest during this year and the technologies will be reviewed during the first month after they are submitted, period in which you will receive feedback. Finally, the technologies that meet the criteria can be invited to send additional information and participate in a meeting to analyze potential collaborations.

BHP is a global resources company with operations and offices across Australia, Asia, the UK and the Americas. What we produce is essential for the world to continue to grow and many of our products will help make the transition to cleaner energy possible. Copper for renewable energy. Nickel for electric vehicles. Potash for sustainable farming. And iron ore and metallurgical coal for the steel needed for global infrastructure and the energy transition.


Rio Tinto operates in 35 countries where our 52,000 employees are working to find better ways to provide the materials the world needs. Our portfolio includes iron ore, copper, aluminium, lithium and other materials needed for everyday life, and for the world to cut carbon emissions to net zero. We have been mining for 150 years, and we continue to build on a history and knowledge that span generations and continents.


Fundación Chile is a public-private organization whose purpose is fostering the transformation of Chile towards sustainable development. For more than 45 years, it has collaboratively created innovative, high-impact solutions for the country, addressing local challenges with a global reach. It has been pioneer enhancing and enabling different productive sectors, such as the aquaculture industry, the agro- industrial sector, the movement towards renewable energies such as solar power, the first venture capital funds in Latin America, among others.