Leading the transition
to a circular metals industry

Future Element offers a sustainable alternative to traditional mining and rehabilitation. Leveraging our core competencies in retreatment and mineral processing, and the utilisation of cutting edge technologies, Future Element partners with mining companies to provide an integrated end to end management solution to progressively rehabilitate tailings and treat and recycle water, while extracting remnant value to offset costs.

Our world
is changing

and the way we produce, and use, metals
and minerals must adapt. As our global community
continues to evolve, the pivotal role metals and
minerals play in the world will become ever more
apparent. These elements will continue to underpin
industries and technologies which ensure our
quality of life.


At the same time, intractable challenges such as
climate change and social inequality demand greater
accountability for all impacts from current and future
mines, including externalities that have remained
unaddressed in the past.

At Future Element, we believe that the right amounts of
the right metals and minerals can be made more readily,
more equitably, and more affordably available to contribute
to the future needs of society.

Mining needs
to evolve

Mining will continue to be core to providing metals and minerals for the future.


However, momentum is growing to the industry to reduce environmental and social impacts.


Miners’ competency lies in exploitation of in-ground deposits, built around maximising net present value. The “fight” for capital means means economic recovery of metals from tailings is deprioritised.

  • -60%

    new discoveries
    compared to 30 years ago, despite 3 times higher exploration expenditure
  • 20%

    capital expenditure
    in realised projects, compared to budget or forecasted amount
  • -11$Bn

    y-o-y investment
    in Greenfield projects until 2026 due to a lack of approved and financed new projects

Tailings is a key part of mining’s transition to a low carbon future

Strategies which minimise impact, progressively rehabilitate and maximise value in tailings will be core to a mine’s licence to operate.

For future mines, the model will transition to one which leaves a positive legacy, contributes to future industries, and benefits the host economy.

For existing mines, this creates a global opportunity to provide a service which stabilises and rehabilitates tailings, as well as unlocks the latent metal value.

  • 283

    Billion tones
    Estimated tailings in 8,500 active, inactive and closed storage facilities:
  • 79 %

    Estimated tailings in 8,500 active, inactive and closed storage facilities1 :
solar, wind, hydro, electricity networks, EVs and battery storage
200Mt contained copper (in 46% of tailings)
equivalent to 20 years of new production required by 2040 (9.5Mtpa)
wind, concentrating solar, EVs, geothermal, nuclear, hydrogen
14Mt contained nickel (in 2% of tailings)
equivalent to 4 years of new production required by 2040 (3.9Mtpa)
Zinc & Lead
wind, hydro, concentrating solar and batteries (lead)
130Mt contained zinc+lead (in 3% of tailings)
equivalent to 32 years of new production required by 2040 (4.0Mtpa)
semiconductors and electronics
200Mt contained gold (in 21% of tailings)
equivalent to 4 years of 2022 demand (112Mozpa)
Other Critical Metals
Up to 1% of tailings
Lithium:EVs and battery storage
Cobalt:EVs and battery storage
REEs:wind, EVs and battery storage,hydrogen

Create sustainable sources of metal & minerals

The combination of best-in-class tailings management and harnessing latent value locked in tailings provides a new perspective on the ‘cost’ of rehabilitation.

Plan de travail 1


Deferring rehabilitation increases risk of closure time extension and (potentially uncapped) costs due to regulatory changes

Lost opportunity: Once rehabilitated, the costs to recover valuable metal and the permitting to re-disturb site can make tailings metal recovery uneconomic

Future Element


Progressive and economic rehabilitation of tailings reduces costs for tailings storage & final rehabilitation, accelerates mine closure, and provides a path to reduce environmental bonding and balance sheet liabilities for mining companies

Remnant value of metal in tailings dam is recovered and used to offset costs for rehabilitation. Depending on metal value, the aim is to produce net profit from tailings

Future Element

Our proposition

Future Element’s strategy focuses on economic rehabilitation: reducing negative environmental legacy & producing sustainable metals for a low carbon future, providing superior environmental, social and economic outcomes:

  • A positive legacy, enhancing reputation with all stakeholders
  • Sustainable metals from tailings and water
  • Offset costs & turning tailings into a profit center
  • Fully-funded services, taking rehabilitation off balance sheet

Service offering

Future Element takes on current and historic tailings at operating or legacy mine sites, processes and recovers valuable metals and minerals, treats and recycles contained water and delivers rehabilitated land to standards required for relinquishment.

  • Tailings & waste transport
    learn more

    Tailings handling and remobilisation requires various operating strategies

    Costs and ensuring integrity of storage compounds are paramount

    May require tailings handling and transport systems integrated with current operations



    • Hydraulic mining
    • Dredging
    • Truck & shovel
  • Metal & mineral recovery
    learn more

    Remnant metals economically recovered to offset tailings or final deposition costs

    Remove environmentally harmful tails/water content

    Products integrated with current streams or new products created



    • Hydraulic mining
    • Dredging
    • Truck & shovel
  • Dewatering & deposition
    learn more

    Optimised technologies for dewatering and deposition in the final location

    Integrated solutions with current operations to ensure tailings footprint is minimised and backfill is maximised



    • Advanced Dewatering
    • Optimised Backfill
    • Dry Stacking
  • Water treatment & recovery
    learn more

    Good water management is crucial to reputation and sustaining mining operations in an increasingly volatile climate

    Combination of water recycling and targeted/customised water treatment employed



    • Metal recovery
    • Contaminant removal
    • Evaporation
  • Rehabilitation & repurposing
    learn more

    Based on closure plan and land release requirements, disturbed areas will be rehabilitated using best-in-class practices, revegetation, and continuous monitoring practices



    • Land formation
    • Cap & Revegetation
    • Repurposing

Service scope

Future Element is responsible for the complete scope from concept development through to operational execution and ultimate relinquishment.

Commercial model

Future Element moves tailings management and rehabilitation off balance sheet via one of two contract structures, customised for each project


Services + Metal Recovery

Services (only)

Contract structure
Fee-based (fixed / variable cost basis)
Future Element
Future Element
Agreed key performance metrics
Life of tailings
Life of tailings
Long-term contract (life of tailings)
JV (% equity ownership by client and Future Element)
Future Element
Operating profit
Distributed to Joint Venture shareholders
Distributed to miner, less payments to Future Element
Saleable products
Sold by Joint Venture either to client or to third party
Sold by client
Future Element remuneration
Distribution from JV
Base operation fee plus performance-based payments
Operating cost accountability
Joint Venture
Future Element, with agreed key performance metrics
Capital contribution, incl. working & sustaining capex
Relative to % ownership of JV
By Future Element
Capital payback
Potential for loan-carry between JV shareholders
Built into contract, payments to Future Element for capital payback
Environmental bonding & liability
Liability ownership and bonding responsibility1
Remains with mining company
Remains with mining company
  • Revenue from metal recovery offsets rehabilitation costs
  • Increases site reportable metal production
  • Allows flexibility in fee structure and funding options via metal exposure
  • Single-source accountability for tailings and water management
  • KPIs structured to minimise cost and maximise rehabilitation

Technology & Partners

Future Element is forming strategic relationships with world leading technology companies and OEMs to provide robust, adaptable & autonomous solutions.

  • Metal recovery, advanced dewatering and water treatment platform technologies cleanteqwater.com

Our team


Reports and presentations